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News

Trans activist who demanded genitals be waxed now suing salon for refusing to wax his legs

Jonathan Yaniv previously and unsuccessfully filed complaints against multiple beauticians for refusing to perform a Brazilian wax on him.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 9:14 pm EST
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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

PETITION: Tell Twitter to unlock LifeSite account now! Sign the petition here.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Canadian transgender activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv, infamous for unsuccessful human rights complaints against beauticians who refused to wax his genitalia, is taking another beauty salon to the human rights tribunal, this time for allegedly refusing to wax his legs.

The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) announced Tuesday in a press release that it is defending Vancouver-based salon She Point Beauty Studio against a complaint Yaniv filed in October with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

Yaniv is well known for, among other things, filing human rights complaints against more than a dozen beauticians in 2018, alleging that their refusal to give him a “Brazilian” bikini wax was discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.

JCCF defended five of these estheticians, and after the tribunal heard three of Yaniv’s complaints in July 2019, it dismissed them in an October, ruling that “human rights legislation does not require a service provider to wax a type of genitals they are not trained for and have not consented to wax.”

The ruling, penned by tribunal member Devyn Cousineau, also found that Yaniv “engaged in improper conduct” and filed complaints “for an improper purpose” and ordered him to pay costs of $2,000 to each of the three estheticians, for a total of $6,000 — a sum the JCCF says Yaniv has to date refused to pay.

Cousineau took Yaniv to task for his demonstrable “grievance” against certain ethnic groups, noting that he “targeted them out of racial animus to ‘punish’ them for their cultural and religious views,” according to JCCF’s release.

“Yaniv has made derogatory public comments about East Indians and Sikhs, as well as immigrants generally,” it stated.

The ruling cites Yaniv’s comment: “We have a lot of immigrants here who gawk and judge and aren’t exactly the cleanest people. They’re also verbally and physically abusive, that’s one main reason why I joined a girls gym...They lie about s---, they’ll do anything to support their own kind and make things miserable for everyone else.”

Yaniv’s new complaint targets She Point Beauty Studio,  a salon owned and operated by East Indian women of the Sikh faith, according to JCCF’s release

In August, Yaniv asked the salon to give him a “Brazilian” bikini wax and was refused, JCCF states. Yaniv then asked for a leg wax and was again turned down.

In Yaniv’s tweets about the case — which include a screenshot presumably of his texts to the salon representative in which he asks: “But am I a lady?” — he emphasizes that he’s asking for a leg wax.

He tweets from Cousineau’s judgment that Cousineau agrees generally with Yaniv “that a person who customarily offers women the service of waxing their arms or legs cannot discriminate between cisgender and transgender women [sic] absent a bona fide reasonable justification.”

Cousineau then adds that she dismissed the complaints “on the basis that they have been filed for improper motives or in bad faith.”

In response to this point, Yaniv tweets: “I have hair coming out of my legs…like any female. Got to get that removed. How is that bad faith? My legs are normal female legs.”

But JCCF notes in its press release that “[l]eg waxing takes place in private with the customer in their underwear or nude from the waist down.”

She Point Beauty Studio “rejected Yaniv’s request for services due to religious, cultural and safety reasons, and because the salon services are specialized to women,” it states.

“Women have a constitutional right not to be compelled to touch biological males in an intimate or highly personal manner if they are not comfortable doing so,” notes Jay Cameron, the JCCF lawyer who acted for five estheticians in 2019.

“Like male genital waxing, our client does not offer male leg waxing services to the public, and we intend to vigorously defend against this targeted harassment on behalf of our client.”

JCCF expects the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to hear the complaint sometime this year.

Yaniv, a self-described “proud lesbian” who runs the Vancouver-based tech consulting business Trusted Nerd, is also notorious for social media posts that reveal a disturbing interest in the menstruation and nude bodies of 10- and 12-year-old girls. Long before he filed his waxing complaints, allegations circulated online that Yaniv was claiming to be transgender to gain access to women-only spaces so he could contact young girls and ask them leading questions.

In July, Yaniv applied unsuccessfully to the Township of Langley for a permit to host a “topless” LGBT swim party for “people aged 12+” that banned parents.

The same month, Jessica Rumpel filed a child sexual exploitation report against Yaniv with CyberTips for allegedly sexually harassing her when she was between the ages of 14 and 15.

“Yaniv’s reported online activity reflects an interest in young teenage girls that predated his interest in transgenderism,” noted Doug Mainwaring of LifeSiteNews when reporting on Rumpel’s complaint.

Most recently, the 32-year-old Yaniv is scheduled to appear at the Surrey Provincial Court on January 13 on two counts of possessing a prohibited weapon. Yaniv was arrested August 6 after he fired a Taser during a livestreamed YouTube debate and charged December 16.

LifeSite has been locked out of Twitter since December after tweeting its report that Yaniv was “shocked” that a gynecologists’ office refused his request for an examination.

Twitter presumably locked out LifeSite for referring to Yaniv as “he.” LifeSite has refused to remove the tweet as requested and is appealing the decision.

Sign the petition asking Twitter to unlock LifeSite’s account here


  courts, freedom of religion, human rights tribunal, jonathan yaniv, vancouver

News

Georgia bill would stop boys claiming to be ‘girls’ from competing in girls’ sports

Publicly funded high schools would not be allowed to participate in single-sex events in which 'transgender' athletes are permitted to compete with members of the opposite sex.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 9:05 pm EST
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altanaka / Shutterstock.com
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

ATLANTA, Georgia, January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A Republican state representative has introduced a bill to the Georgia legislature that seeks to discourage male “transgender” athletes from participating in girls’ contests.

Representative Philip Singleton of Sharpsburg introduced House Bill 747, the “Student Athlete Protection Act,” to stop some student athletes from having an “unfair advantage” in sports.

“The Student Athlete Protection Act is designed to ensure that biological boys will only compete in sports against other biological boys and vice-versa for girls,” the legislator told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“The intent of my bill is to make sure every student has the opportunity to compete fairly.”

The act would prevent public and government facilities from being used for competitions in which females compete against boys or males compete against girls in single-sex sports. It would not apply to mixed-sex team sports.

It adds that publicly funded high schools may not participate in single-sex events in which  “transgender” athletes are permitted to compete with members of the opposite sex:

No high school which receives funding under this article shall participate in, sponsor, or provide coaching staff for interscholastic athletic events conducted under the authority or rules of, or scheduled by, any athletic association which permits or allows participation in athletic events exclusively for males by any person who is not a biological male or participation in athletic events exclusively for females by any person who is not a biological female.

Currently, the Georgia High School Association’s bylaws stipulate that “[g]irls may participate on boys’ teams when there is no girls’ team offered in that sport by the school. Boys are not allowed to play on girls’ teams even when there is no corresponding boys’ sport.” The bylaws   determine a student’s sex “by the gender noted on his/her birth certificate.”

Parents in Georgia rose up in revolt last year when the Pickens County School District announced a plan to let gender-confused students use bathrooms meant for the opposite sex. As a result of the protest, the school board announced in October that the implementation had been delayed. The superintendent, Dr. Carl Wilson, resigned from his post in December.


  education, georgia, good news, public schools, sports, transgenderism, women's sports

News

CNN reporter takes aim at conservative satire site Babylon Bee for ‘misinformation’

Donie O'Sullivan of CNN tweeted his doubts that the people sharing the satirical article, which made fun of Democrats, know it's satire.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 8:59 pm EST
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Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin
By Martin Barillas

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A CNN reporter expressed alarm on Twitter that Christian conservative satire site Babylon Bee was peddling “misinformation” in a stinging piece that had Democrats flying the American flag at half-mast in honor of a terrorist who had been targeted and killed by the U.S. military.

Reporter Donie O’Sullivan, who notes on Twitter that he covers “disinformation” for CNN, stated on Twitter that he was concerned that more people were reading Babylon Bee’s satire about the death of terrorist Qassem Soleimani — titled “Democrats Call for Flags to Be Flown aAt Half-Mast to Grieve Death of Soleimani” — than reports about the event put out by the N.Y. Times and CNN. The article appeared after news came that the United States had killed Iranian general Soleimani in a drone strike in Iraq that congressional Democrats claim was unwarranted.

In response to Cindy Otis, an author and former CIA official, who worried that Republicans on Facebook were circulating the satirical article as if it were a legitimate news story, O’Sullivan tweeted: “To put this in perspective, this is the same number of engagements the top NY Times and CNN stories on Facebook had over the past week.”

O’Sullivan added, “A lot of people sharing this ‘satirical’ story on Facebook don't know it is satire.” He appeared to suggest that The Babylon Bee was less than honest about its identity as a satirical website.

“Having a disclaimer buried somewhere on your site that says it’s ‘satire’ seems like a good way to get around a lot of the changes Facebook has made to reduce the spread of clickbait and misinformation,” O’Sullivan wrote. He also asserted that some social media users apparently believe that The Babylon Bee’s satire is real news.

In a response to LifeSiteNews, Babylon Bee founder Adam Ford wrote: “It’s fascinating to me that Mr. O’Sullivan can't recognize the doublethink required to publicly accuse the Babylon Bee of insidiousness while at the same time being a vocal fan of the Onion.”

Babylon Bee capitalized on the situation, putting out a piece titled “CNN Attacks Babylon Bee: ‘The Internet Is Only Big Enough for One Fake News Site’.”

In his newsletter to subscribers, Ford wrote that “it never, ever ceases to amaze me how many of these liberals can’t see that the only reason they hate the Bee is because we are conservative, popular, and effective. That’s the only reason they hate us. If we were a progressive satire site, they would cherish us as a national treasure.” A pro-life Christian, Ford is also the founder of the news site Disrn.

“I can’t believe this thread isn’t satire,” National Review senior writer David Harsanyi quipped on social media. In an article titled “Attacks on the Babylon Bee Are Attacks on Free Expression,” Harsanyi wrote: “The Babylon Bee’s real crime, of course, is that it mocks all the wrong people. Many of the people it mocks, incidentally, are now part of a concerted effort to inhibit political speech — or to shame tech companies into inhibiting political speech.”

Labeling liberals’ criticism as “cynical partisanship,” Harsanyi went on to write that liberals believe that conservatives are susceptible to deception. He wrote: “I mean, how else could these people possibly believe the dumb things they do — right?”

On social media, Ford wrote that O’Sullivan complained about the wide circulation enjoyed by The Babylon Bee, noting that its articles are “shared a lot and some people think they're real (which will always happen with satire).” After asking whether O’Sullivan may have similarly criticized The Onion (a liberal satirical website), Ford found that O’Sullivan is a follower. Ford wrote on Twitter: “As it turns out, Mr. O'Sullivan HAS tweeted about the Onion. But it looks like he’s quite the fan!” and pointed out that O’Sullivan made several posts on Twitter in praise of The Onion.

In 2019, The Babylon Bee retained legal counsel following a probe by the investigative website Snopes. Known for a liberal bias, Snopes bills itself as the “internet's go-to source for discerning what is true and what is total nonsense.”

At issue was a spoof article published by the Babylon Bee about Georgia state representative Erica Thomas (D). Thomas had made news for claiming that a white man at a grocery checkout lane had supposedly told her to leave the country. In reality, the man had complained that Thomas was using the express lane despite having too many items to purchase. Thomas eventually conceded that she may not have heard him correctly, saying, “I don’t know if he said ‘go back,’ or those types of words.”

The Babylon Bee satire article portrayed Thomas broadcasting that Chick-fil-A employees had told her to “go back to your country” when what they had said to her was the company’s employees’ well known “my pleasure” for serving her. In addition to mocking Rep. Thomas, the spoof alluded to liberal targeting of Chick-fil-A, which had long been identified with Christians and family values.

While Snopes did identify The Babylon Bee as a satirical website, it nonetheless rated the article as “False” and claimed that the “line between fact and fiction here is a bit blurry.” Snopes accused the satirical site of “an apparent attempt to maximize the online indignation” and editorialized in its sub-headline, “We’re not sure if fanning the flames of controversy and muddying the details of a news story classify an article as ‘satire.’”

Concerned over a possible drop in revenue, Babylon Bee founder Adam Ford denounced Snopes and its “fact-check” in several social media posts, criticizing Snopes for its omission of key details of the real Thomas story and for attributing malicious intent to the satirical outlet, even while it framed spoofs by The Onion much more favorably.


  babylon bee, censorship, cnn, donie o'sullivan, mainstream media, satire, snopes

News

Mom, nurse fundraising for court fight arguing kids can’t legally consent to ‘sex change’

At stake is the question of whether or not children under 18 can legally consent to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. The case could set a new precedent.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 8:43 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LONDON, England, January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A nurse and a mother are taking England’s public health system to court to stop sex-change experimentation on kids and they need financial help. 

Susan Evans, formerly a psychiatric nurse at the Tavistock & Portman National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust, and a mother known only as “Mrs. A” are seeking a judicial review into Tavistock’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS). 

As British doctors do not amputate healthy body parts from minors, at stake is the question of whether or not children under 18 can legally consent to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. 

Thanks to the help of fundraising site CrowdJustice.com, Evans and Mrs. A have already raised over £32,000 ($42,000) to launch their legal case to “protect children from experimental medical treatment.” The fundraising drive ends this Thursday. 

“While working [at the Tavistock Clinic] I quickly became concerned about the treatment approach,” Evans wrote on their fundraising page. 

“When I joined the [GIDS] team I had expected that the young people would be assessed in depth and given support and psychological treatment over several years,” she continued. 

“The alarm bells began ringing for me when a colleague at the weekly team clinical meeting said that they had seen a young person 4 times and they were now recommending them for a referral to the endocrinology department to commence hormone therapy.”

Evans was also concerned about the pressure put on the GIDS staff by distraught patients and families, but especially transgender activists groups like Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence. 

“I also clinically disagreed with the request to fall into line in immediately ‘affirming’ the children's beliefs and also the expectation to write to other professionals using the name and sex the child had chosen rather than the patient who had been referred,” she added. She stated that the normal professional practice is to keep an open mind while examining all the difficulties  troubled children are having.  

Mrs. A is the mother of a 15-year-old girl with autism and other mental health issues. She allowed her daughter to be placed on the Tavistock waiting list because of a lack of “specialist expertise” in adolescent mental health in her area. However, she is worried that the girl may be harmed by the Tavistock’s staff.

“I have deep concerns that the current clinical approach at GIDS means that my daughter will be subjected to an experimental treatment path that is not adequately regulated, where there are insufficient safeguards, where her autism will not be properly accounted for and where no-one (let alone my daughter) understands the risks and therefore cannot ensure informed consent is obtained,” she wrote.  

Mrs. A is remaining anonymous to protect her daughter’s privacy. 

The women are being represented by the Sinclairslaw firm. The UK’s Guardian quoted a solicitor with the firm, Paul Conrathe, as saying that the case would set a new precedent. 

“I don’t think there has been any case that has tested a policy or practice in this way,” Conrathe told the Guardian.

“There may have been the odd case that has come up but not one that has challenged a health service for making this service available.” 

The Guardian also mentioned a landmark case related to parents’ rights versus doctors’ rights to give treatment to children without parental consent: Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority. The concept of “Gillick competence,” used to determine if a child under 16 is able to consent to his or her own medical treatment without parental permission or knowledge is derived from a 1985 decision in this case. 

Victoria Gillick, a Catholic mother of ten, went to court in 1983 to fight for the rights of parents to forbid doctors from giving minors contraception without their knowledge or permission. Despite the fact that it was (and is) illegal for children under 16 to have sexual intercourse in England, even with each other, Gillick lost. 

Conrathe said, however, that Gillick competence does not apply in situations where a child’s health could be permanently affected. 

“The issue is whether the young person is of sufficient maturity and capacity to understand the consequences of their actions,” he told the Guardian.  

“We say it is a leap too far to think that Gillick as a judgment could apply to this type of scenario, where a young person is being offered a treatment with lifelong consequences when they are at a stage of emotional and mental vulnerability,” he continued.  

“It simply doesn’t compute, and therefore whatever medical professionals say is consent is not valid in law.”

To learn more about the effort of Susan Evans and Mrs. A to protect children from experimental gender treatments, or to support them, click HERE.


  gendered intelligence, mermaids, national health service, parental rights, transgenderism, united kingdom

News

Feminists torch German pro-lifer’s car, advertise his home address

The journalist had encouraged people to attend the March for Life in Germany, so the feminist group broadcast his address, declaring that he 'lives there with his children.'
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 8:21 pm EST
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Mykola Komarovskyy / Shutterstock.com
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

January 7, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — Pro-abortion activists have set a German pro-life journalist’s car ablaze, after he encouraged readers to attend the German March for Life. Responding to the attack, Michael Robinson, SPUC Director of Communications said: “The pro-life movement continues to make progress across Europe. However, as the pro-life movement advances, so do attacks on pro-life people. We will not be bullied into silence.”

The German journalist, Gunnar Schupelius, had his car set ablaze and the location of his home circulated by the extremist group Feministische Autonome Zelle, who are unapologetic about their violent tactics.

In an online post, the group rejoiced in the attack saying: “Every year he heavily promotes the March for Life…We torched his SUV today.” The group continued to reveal the journalist’s home location stating that he “lives there with his children.”

Mr Robinson said: “The pro-abortion lobby are attempting to frighten pro-life people into silence. We will not be intimidated as we continue our entirely peaceful work as we seek to restore a culture of life.”

The Progressing Peaceful Pro-Life Movement

Peaceful pro-life demonstrations across major European cities have had record attendance numbers in recent years. Berlin’s 2019 March for Life attracted over 8000 attendees. Austria’s 2019 March for Life doubled in attendance compared to previous years with nearly 5000 in attendance, whilst the Dutch March for Life hosted 15,000 people. SPUC reported on the ground-breaking 50,000 people in attendance at the 2019 Slovakian March for Life.

Pro-life advances in the United Kingdom have also been evident. 2019 saw over 5000 people attend the London March For Life, whilst recent pro-life demonstrations in Northern Ireland attracted over 20,000 people. And SPUC’s pro-life youth conference is expected to attract a record number of attendees in 2020

In addition, 2020 commenced with a huge victory for UK pro-lifers as the country’s oldest abortion clinic based in Birmingham closed; and the increase in pro-life societies present on University campuses is being widely reported on.

The Escalating Attacks Against Pro-Life People

Acts of aggression aimed at pro-life people across the country during the past year have been recorded in Manchester, Cardiff, Nottingham and London.

Mr Robinson said: “Over the past year, we have seen a rise in hostility against pro-life people by pro-abortion extremists. These attacks arise from their fear of a pro-life movement which is strong and is unmistakably advancing.”

SPUC has been reporting on the spiralling acts of aggression committed against pro-life people across the UK.

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


  abortion, feminism, germany, march for life, terrorism

News

Vatican caught up in scandal over ‘queer’ rave in Rome

The wild party took place in the building where a papal representative reconnected the electricity last May.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 6:20 pm EST
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Papal Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, is pictured with Action and Spin Time Labs representatives.
Diane Montagna Diane Montagna Follow Diane
By Diane Montagna

ROME, January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican has been caught up in a scandal over a drug-fueled New Year’s Eve party in Rome attended by minors and featuring Italy’s “most alternative, underground and political queer” techno band. 

Last May, the cardinal appointed to handle the Pope’s charitable works broke the law to turn the electricity back on for what appeared to be a group of families occupying the building where the 2020 rave was held.   

The papal almoner defended the act as a “humanitarian gesture” aimed at protecting these families. 

Yet a closer look reveals that the far-left activists illegally managing the building (and squatters) are running tax-free businesses in the complex, including a disco that hosts homosexual rave parties. This raises the question: Why is the Vatican supporting a radical far-left group that is creating a potentially abusive environment for families, minors and children? 

New Year’s rave

According to Italian media, the New Year’s Eve rave, hosted at Spin Time Labs in an occupied building in Rome’s historic center, was a “triumph of degradation, drugs and crime.”

Il Messagero, the Italian capital’s main centrist daily, reported that problems intensified after midnight, when hundreds of people (some of whom had bought tickets online) found the gates to the disco locked and entrance denied (see video here). “Yelling, shoving, and people falling to the ground” ensued, with inadequate security to handle the crowds. At 2 a.m., local police were reportedly alerted that a fight had broken out, and an hour later an ambulance was called for a 22-year-old young man who was intoxicated. 

Local residents, who said they witnessed the midnight commotion, also complained of blaring music and the entrances to their homes being mistaken for a bathroom.

Image

Organized by Spin Time Labs and under the leadership of Action, a far-left group that has occupied the building since 2013, the event was promoted on Facebook, saying: “In Rome, there’s an open, young, queer, free and rebellious New Year’s Eve!” 

Several thousand people (including many minors) were reportedly in attendance. 

Themed “New Year’s Eve in the Skyscraper” (L’ultimo nel Grattacielo), each of the building’s seven floors featured a dance floor to “suit all tastes: from electro-swing to cumbia, Latin American music and techno by LaRoboterie, a queer group that plays throughout Italy,” La Repubblica, a left-leaning Italian daily that Pope Francis regularly reads, said in a decidedly more favorable article on December 31. It even noted that there would be a “dedicated space” for children to “draw and play” until 12:30 a.m.

LaRoboterie, which co-hosted the rave, describes itself on Facebook in this way: 

“LaRoboterie is techno, queer, gay, lesbian and transexual, is feminist, anti-fascist, anti-sexist, is a refugee and a homeless, a gypsy, a bitch and a weirdo, a slut and an addict, is an immigrant and a prisoner, is freak and punk, HIV positive and bizarre, is drag and crooked but most of all is free and proud to be whatever she wants to be. Since 2007 the most underground, alternative and political Italian queer crew. In more than 11 years LaRoboterie has hosted hundreds of events all across Italy and beyond with lots of guests from all around the globe. Music, video art, mapping, performances and an innate attitude to break the borders between genders. No rules, only the will to share the dance floor dancing and sweating to the beats. (…) Wandering through all Italy from south to north, from the coast to the islands and mixing the deepest techno to some electro beats, acid drifts and downtempo, sophisticated rhythms and melancholic melodies. Queer performances where sexuality is a complex world made of everyone tastes, no limits in expressing ourselves, no limits in the freedom of being whatever everyone wants.”

Boasting that it was “the most beautiful New Year’s Eve in Rome,” event photos posted on Spin Time Lab’s Facebook page on January 7, 2020 feature two lesbians kissing on a dance floor and a pamphlet attendees received, which reads: “Before entering we remind you that in our skyscraper every person has to feel received and welcomed. Homo-transphobia, sexism, fascism, machismo and racism are not permitted. Differences are always an enrichment. No means no.” 

The occupied building, located at Via Santa Croce in Gerusalemme 55 in Rome, is just five minutes’ walk from the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. Built in 325 to house the relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Empress St. Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, the Basilica’s relics include a piece of the True Cross and two thorns that pierced Our Lord’s Sacred Head. 

Turning the lights back on to illegality?

In May 2019, the Apostolic Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, 56, drew controversy after he climbed down a manhole and broke a seal to reconnect electrical circuit breakers for the building’s over 400 inhabitants (including numerous children). At least 70 percent of those occupying the building are migrants (from 29 countries), while some are Italians who have lost their homes.

Electricity had been cut to the building in early May for failure to pay 300,000 euros in electric bills that had piled up since 2013. That year, “Action” — one of the most active right to housing movements in Rome — seized the disused government building to create housing for squatters, while dedicating other parts of the complex for business activities like Spin Time Labs.

The activities going on at the building’s social center, including for-profit but untaxed rave parties, were already generally known when the papal almoner intervened to restore electricity. 

At the time, Cardinal Krajewski, who has been the only Polish prelate to receive the red hat from Francis, said the act was a “desperate and humanitarian gesture to help families struggling to survive.” The cardinal, who has carried out many charitable acts for the poor in Rome, said he was aware of the possible consequences he might face and would pay a fine if necessary but insisted that it was necessary for the sake of the families, and especially children. 

La Repubblica hailed Cardinal Krajewski as a modern-day Robin Hood. But then-Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, was more critical, saying: “I will count on the Pope’s almoner, who intervened to turn the power back on in an occupied building in Rome, to pay the 300,000 euros in overdue bills.” 

According to Italian media, the electric bills still aren’t being paid. 

Meanwhile, the New Year’s Eve party took in 80,000 euro in entrance fees alone, according to Il Messagero. Organizers denied the figure, however, saying proceeds totaled only 33,000 euros. They also denied claims that drug dealers were at the rave, claimed security was more than adequate, and said they look forward to the next Spin Time Labs event.

Asked how it is possible that all seven floors of the building were used for a New Year’s Eve rave, with families and children living in the building, Italian sources told LifeSite that it’s a “complex situation” and often these families have to “suffer through” and “submit to” these events in exchange for rent-free housing.

LifeSite contacted the Holy See Press Office to inquire if the Pope’s almoner is aware of the scandalous New Year’s party that was held in the building where he illicitly reactivated the electricity. We also asked why the Vatican is supporting a group that allows such events to be held, particularly with minors present and families with children in the building. 

As of this report, we have not received a reply.


  catholic, drugs, homosexuality, il messagero, konrad krajewski, la repubblica, new year's eve, papal almoner, pope francis, queer, rave, rome, spin time labs, techno, vatican

News

Model in labor responds to Michelle Williams: ‘Babies do not keep us from our dreams’

Pro-life leaders and regular citizens took to social media to express horror and sadness at Michelle Williams' Golden Globes speech, during which she credited abortion for her successful career.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 5:31 pm EST
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Shortly before giving birth to her new son, Valor Joseph, Leah Darrow posted a video response to Michelle Williams' pro-abortion Golden Globes speech Leah Darrow / Instagram
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – After Michelle Williams used her award acceptance speech to promote abortion at the Golden Globes on Sunday, a Catholic model in labor took the time to record an Instagram video challenging Williams’ statement that abortion was integral to her success as an actress.

“I’m here getting ready to deliver my fifth baby,” said Leah Darrow, a former contestant on America’s Next Top Model, from her hospital bed. “And I want to let all you women know, all you young ladies who haven’t had babies or are maybe listening to what the culture says about birth, and women, and babies, and choice.”  

“Babies don’t keep us from our dreams,” she declared.  

“I’m getting ready to deliver a baby that will not keep me from my professional growth, but will make me better because of it,” she continued. “And I’m so honored and excited, and I can’t wait to have this baby.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Well, this for sure wasn’t planned but I felt called to share so here’s the truth... New life never keeps us from our dreams. One of the cruelest lies that the Devil tells women is that we aren’t brave or strong enough to do what God invites us into when we bring life into the world. New life is always a gift. And I’m humbled that I get to receive this new life AND live out the *abundant* life the Lord created me for. Please share this message with the ladies in your life because women deserve a better narrative than what the culture gives us. We deserve to believe that life really *can* be this good, and that receiving new life is always, always, always pure gift. I’m lifting you up through this labor and please pray for me!! Can’t wait to have this baby!! ���� #prolife #CatholicWomanhood #mama #babyscoming #michellewilliams #goldenglobes2020 #goldenglobes2019 #acceptancespeech

A post shared by Leah Darrow (@leah.darrow) on

Darrow wasn’t the only one who took to social media to push back against Williams’ Golden Globe speech in which she hinted that having an abortion enabled her to succeed professionally. 

“How sad it must be to trade an innocent human life for a tiny golden statue. Praying for Michelle Williams,” tweeted Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood director whose conversion to pro-life activism is depicted in the film Unplanned, drawing a comparison that many others did as well. 

“Only in Hollywood are you able to announce that you murdered a baby in exchange for a hunk of metal with your name on it and have the crowd cheer for you,” said Elizabeth Fortmeyer in a video she posted on Twitter. 

“Abortion is not birth control. Abortion is premeditated murder of an innocent child, depriving them of their right to life,” she continued.

“As a woman, I am sick of this belief that all women should be okay with murdering their children for personal gain,” said Fortmeyer. “Real women are pro-life.”

Sara Gonzales asked those in the audience who applauded Michelle Williams’ pro-abortion speech, “Why are they clapping? You’re clapping for dead babies. Stop!” 

“Only in Hollywood can you get [cheers] for telling the crowd that you traded a baby for an award,” said Gonzales. “That a piece of metal is infinitely better than the tiny human life that you created inside you. That the fancy gown and the jewelry that you’re wearing is way more important than your own flesh and blood.”

“Hollywood, you all are messed up,” she added.

“Michelle Williams, while visibly pregnant, claims she wouldn't have won her Golden Globe Award if she didn't kill her previous child,” tweeted Live Action Founder and President Lila Rose, who gave birth to her first child days ago.

“No trophy is worth more than a child's life,” said Rose. “Sacrificing our children to pursue our dreams is the total antithesis of women's empowerment.”

Chris Stefanick, a well-known speaker, author, and President of Real Life Catholic, pointed out:   

Princeton Professor Robert George, former Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, described the Hollywood crowd’s response to Williams as “Pavlovian” and “drearily predictable.”

“Dear Michelle Williams,” wrote Kristan Mercer Hawkins, President of Students for Life, on Facebook: “Your remarks at the Golden Globes were heartbreaking. Like many post-abortive mothers, you disguised your hurt with a political speech to seek absolution from the world for your past abortion decision(s). It’s so sad that you credit an act of violence, abortion, for your career success. The second wave of Feminism has clearly failed as millions of women like you have been deceived into believing that you must kill another in order to succeed in your career.”

“Abortion is the opposite of female empowerment,” said Hawkins. “An abortion says you thought you weren’t strong enough to achieve your goals and care for the new human you created. It’s the pro-life movement that seeks the full empowerment of women, showing women they are superheroes and can do both.”

Joy Pullman, writing at The Federalist, explained what Williams got wrong in her speech: 

Chiefly, it’s the underlying idea that human lives are a worthy trade-off for career achievement. If someone put a gun to a child’s head on the Golden Globes stage and said to Williams, “You can have your award, but the price is this child’s life,” hopefully she would have said “F— that award, save the child.” But here she is on a global stage, not only admitting that she has already done essentially the same thing to an even smaller human, but also encouraging other girls and women to do likewise — to repeated Hollywood applause.

I can think of few stronger expressions of moral corruption than “This child must die so I can live as I please.” Yet this is the tradeoff we are constantly told epitomizes women’s empowerment. Bunk. What does it profit a woman to gain a major industry award if the price is the life of an innocent child? What kind of “success” is it to rise at the cost of other people’s existence? What kind of society encourages people to think and live this way? A sick, self-cannibalizing one.

National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis took Williams to task for couching her message in terms of “a woman’s right to choose” rather than speaking straightforwardly about abortion.  

No one disagrees that women have the right to make their own choices. The abortion debate exists not because a large faction believes women should be deprived of the “right to choose” but rather because of the choice in question: to end the life of a distinct human being. Abortion-rights supporters such as Williams aren’t part of the debate at all because they are intentionally deceptive about the heart of the argument. And who can blame them? It’s far easier to issue euphemistic speeches about women’s empowerment to thunderous applause than it is to defend the taking of an innocent human life.”

A man who wishes to remain anonymous remarked to LifeSiteNews: 

I wonder if a day will come when Williams will look at this worthless Golden Globe trophy she's holding and wish she were cradling her missing child instead.


  abortion, golden globes, leah darrow, michelle williams

News

Trump admin tells Supreme Court: Women must be protected from dangerous abortionists

In March, the justices will begin listening to arguments in a Louisiana case that could impact previous rulings.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 5:14 pm EST
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By Calvin Freiburger

January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration, Priests for Life, and Rachel’s Vineyard have submitted amicus briefs urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a Louisiana law imposing medical standards on abortion facilities.

In March, the nation’s highest court will hear arguments in June Medical Services LLC v. Gee, which concerns Louisiana’s requirement that abortion centers make arrangements for admitting women to nearby hospitals in cases of life-threatening complications. The abortion industry’s attorneys argue the law is no different from the Texas law the Supreme Court struck down in 2016’s Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt; pro-lifers argue that not only was Hellerstedt wrongly decided, but that the Louisiana law is different from the Texas one.

On Friday, the Trump administration filed a brief arguing that the so-called “burdens” imposed by the law, namely a “modest increase in the waiting time (less than an hour) to obtain an abortion,” pale in comparison to the benefits of ensuring abortion facilities are held to rigorous medical standards – especially in light of the “profound ethical concerns presented by atrocities at abortion clinics like those run by Kermit Gosnell.”

Last week, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a brief on behalf of Priests for Life and Rachel’s Vineyard arguing that Louisiana has a “paramount right to protect the health and safety of its citizens,” including by “enacting regulations to raise the standard and quality of care for women seeking abortions.” The brief also includes “testimonies of victims of abortion from states across the country,” who “have been harmed in a profound way by this deadly procedure.”

"I went to a place in Baton Rouge. I don't remember the name. It was absolutely demonic,” testified “Carmen” about her 1978 abortion, five years after Roe v. Wade supposedly made the practice safe. “I remember lying on the table and saying to the nurse, 'I'm not sure I want to do this. I'm killing my baby.' She just looked at me, cold and silent. I remember the doctor's face. When he came into the room, he was laughing. There was definitely an evil spirit there."

“One who reads carefully the dozens of abortion decisions the Supreme Court has issued since Roe vs. Wade can see that the Court’s jurisprudence on this topic is rudderless and arbitrary,” said Priests for Life national director Fr. Frank Pavone. “Given that this is the first Supreme Court abortion case which both Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will hear, we can hope that the Court will begin to acknowledge that it has overstepped its bounds in many ways on this issue, and will begin to introduce, step by step, more sanity into our public policy on abortion.”

Last week, more than 200 members of Congress signed another amicus brief calling on the Supreme Court to take the Gee case as an opportunity to review its entire body of abortion precedent, all the way back to Roe v. Wade.

The case is likely to at the very least impact the Hellerstedt precedent, which has been used to invalidate a broad range of modest abortion regulations as “undue burdens” on women. It remains to be seen whether the court takes the opportunity to make a broader determination on the underlying legitimacy of Roe or Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which force all 50 states to permit most abortions.

Roe is largely defended not on its legal merits (numerous pro-abortion legal minds, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself, have acknowledged the ruling’s flaws), but on its status as precedent, with the contemporary interpretation of the stare decisis doctrine holding that Roe’s lengthy history staying on the books grants it added weight. Justice Clarence Thomas has forcefully rejected such arguments; it remains to be seen how Chief Justice John Roberts or President Trump’s two SCOTUS appointees, Neil Gorscuh and Brett Kavanaugh, will weigh Roe’s precedent versus its substance.

Either way, a ruling in the case is likely to be handed down during this already-contentious election year, in which abortion and judicial nominations will be major issues for both Trump and the Democrat nominee.


  abortion, admitting privileges, donald trump, june medical services llc v. gee, louisiana, priests for life, rachel's vineyard, supreme court, trump administration

News

Covington teen Nick Sandmann bags CNN settlement in $250 million lawsuit

CNN falsely broadcast into 'millions of homes' the 'idea that [Sandmann] was part of a mob...yelling racist slurs.'
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 3:44 pm EST
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By Calvin Freiburger

January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – At least one of the defamation suits brought against the media by pro-life teenager Nick Sandmann will not proceed to trial, as CNN agreed Tuesday to a settlement in the case.

Immediately after last year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., the press erupted with claims that a video showed boys from a Catholic school in Kentucky harassing Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist, outside the Lincoln Memorial.

But additional extended video and firsthand accounts soon revealed that Phillips was the one who waded into the group waiting for its bus and decided to beat a drum inches from Sandmann’s face, while the boys had merely performed school cheers in hopes of drowning out racist taunts from members of the Black Hebrew Israelites fringe group.

As additional video came to light, many journalists and other public figures quickly deleted their snap condemnations of the students, while some either tried to keep the original narrative alive or refused to unequivocally retract or apologize for their initial claims, leading to various lawsuits on behalf of the boys.

Among the challenges was a $250 million suit against CNN for broadcasting into “millions of homes” the “idea that [Sandmann] was part of a mob...yelling racist slurs,” according to attorney L. Lin Wood. But the suit was settled Tuesday for an as-yet-undisclosed sum, Fox 19 reports.

Further details were not immediately available, though social media quickly erupted with reactions:

Sandmann’s lawsuits against other individuals and media giants remain pending, including a $275 million suit against NBCUniversal and a $250 million suit against the Washington Post. “This case will be tried not one minute earlier or later than when it is ready,” Wood has declared, while Sandmann’s legal team stresses that the dollar amounts are not sought for the teen’s sake but to deter the press from smearing others in the future.

Attorneys Robert Barnes and Kevin Murphy have also filed defamation suits on behalf of eight other Covington students, targeting Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Deb Haaland, CNN’s Ana Navarro, the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, ABC News’s Matthew Dowd, ex-CNN personalities Kathy Griffin and Reza Aslan, Kentucky entrepreneur Adam Edelen, Princeton University’s Kevin Kruse, left-wing activist Shaun King, Mother Jones editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery, and Rewire editor-in-chief Jodi Jacobson.


  cnn, covington catholic, defamation, fake news, lawsuits, liberal media bias, mainstream media, march for life 2019, nick sandmann

News

Massachusetts bill would allow abortion for all 9 months, end parental consent

Under the Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access (ROE) Act, abortionists would no longer be required 'to preserve the life and health of the aborted child.'
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 3:14 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

BOSTON, January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite being one of the most liberal states in the country, Massachusetts’ abortion laws have long been too moderate for the abortion lobby’s liking. Democrat lawmakers hope to change that with the so-called ROE Act currently pending before the legislature.

The Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access (ROE) Act declares that abortions may be committed past the state’s current cutoff point of 24 weeks if a physician deems abortion “necessary to protect the patient’s life or physical or mental health, or in cases of lethal fetal anomalies, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.” 

It defines “physical or mental health” as encompassing “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the person’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient,” the same language used in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Doe v. Bolton ruling, which when paired with Roe v. Wade defines “health” so broadly as to permit effectively unlimited abortions.

The bill also eliminates the state’s current requirement that minors cannot abort without the consent of a parent, as well as language requiring that abortionists “take all reasonable steps (…) to preserve the life and health of the aborted child.”

"I think if people realize what a post-Roe world would be, that would make it even more reasonable to do this bill," the bill’s sponsor, Democrat state Sen. Harriette Chandler, told U.S. News & World Report.

Massachusetts Citizens for Life board chairman David Franks responded to the bill by noting that abortion is often used by adult predators to hide and continue their rape of teenage girls, by destroying the evidence, and argued that laws “need to do as much as we can — especially given the kind of epidemic abuse that we're facing — to interrupt that cycle.”

The ROE Act is part of a broader trend of states on both sides preparing for an assumed reversal of Roe v. Wade in the not-too-distant future. It would also bring Massachusetts more closely aligned with its left-wing reputation; the City of San Francisco, California raised eyebrows last fall when it put Massachusetts on a list of 22 states it was blacklisting for “severe anti-choice policies.”

The ROE Act is expected to pass the state legislature, but whether it would become law remains to be seen. Liberal Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is an abortion supporter who previously signed a repeal of Massachusetts’ pre-Roe abortion ban, but has said he has “concerns about eliminating the parental notification requirement.”


  abortion, charlie baker, david franks, harriette chandler, health exception, massachusetts, parental consent, roe act

News

Ellen DeGeneres’ ‘coming out’ as a lesbian in 1997 celebrated at Golden Globe Awards

Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon thanked DeGeneres' 1997 announcement that she is a homosexual for giving her a 'shot at a good life.'
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 3:06 pm EST
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Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

December 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Ellen DeGeneres’ decision to “come out” as a lesbian in 1997 was celebrated at the Golden Globes Sunday evening, with Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon citing her as a major influence in her own decision to “come out.”

McKinnon thanked Ellen for giving her a “shot at a good life,” after explaining that seeing Ellen on TV had been the only thing that made being “gay” herself “less scary.” 

As she prepared to present DeGeneres with the Carol Burnett Award for Achievement in Television, McKinnon told the audience: “In 1997, when Ellen’s sitcom was at the height of its popularity, I was in my mother’s basement lifting weights in front of the mirror thinking, ‘Am I gay?’ And I was. And I still am. But that’s a very scary thing to suddenly know about yourself. It’s sort of like doing 23andMe and discovering you have alien DNA. And the only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV.” 

McKinnon, who was born on January 6, 1984, was just 13 years old when Ellen came out in 1997.

McKinnon added that it was “only because of brave people like Ellen” that attitudes towards homosexuality had changed and that without her she would have “gone on thinking I was an alien.”

McKinnon said that “if I hadn’t seen her [Ellen] on TV, I would’ve thought, ‘I could never be on TV. They don’t let LGBTQ people on TV.’”

DeGeneres has been “married” to fellow TV star Portia de Rossi since 2008. In 2016 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former U.S. President Barack Obama for her influence on “gay” rights. He choked up as he presented her with the medal honoring her homosexual activism. 

DeGeneres thanked McKinnon for her introduction while collecting her award. “Thank you so much,” she said. “I love you, I love it.”

Also at the Golden Globes, actress Michelle Williams used her speech accepting the award of best actress in a limited series or television movie to suggest that her success is because she had the right to kill her unborn child via abortion. 

“I wouldn't have been able to do this without employing a woman's right to choose,” Williams said

She also urged women to vote pro-abortion: “So women, 18 to 118, when it is time to vote, please do so in your own self-interest; it's what men have been doing for years.”

The dinner served at the Golden Globes was vegan to “raise environmental awareness about food consumption and waste.”


  abortion, ellen degeneres, golden globes, homosexuality, katie mckinnon

News

McCarrick moved from Kansas friary to ‘undisclosed’ location

A report on how McCarrick was able to become a senior churchman―despite allegations of sexual predation on boys and young men, including seminarians and priests―will likely be released soon.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 2:46 pm EST
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Theodore McCarrick, then Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, D.C., in 2005 Alex Wong / Getty Images
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

VICTORIA, Kansas, January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has become the face of clerical sexual misconduct in America, has moved out of his Kansas refuge. 

Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported today that former cardinal and defrocked priest McCarrick has left the Capuchin community in which he resided since the summer of 2018. CNA stated also that senior Church officials told them that McCarrick had recently moved to a “residential community of priests who have been removed from ministry.” CNA’s sources told the agency that the residence is “rather secluded and away from public attention.” Its location has not been disclosed to the public. 

McCarrick is said to be paying for his own rent and board and that he voluntarily took up residence in his new home. The reason given for the disgraced ex-prelate’s move is the pressure his stay at the St. Fidelis Friary was putting on his Capuchin hosts. This was expected to intensify when the report of the Vatican’s investigation into how McCarrick was able to become a senior churchman―despite allegations concerning his sexual predation on boys and young men, including seminarians and priests―is released.    

The friary is next to an elementary school.

One of McCarrick’s alleged victims told LifeSiteNews that this was the first he had heard of the move. 

“This is news to me,” said James Grein via social media.  

“It’s better for the friary going forward. Kinda gives me chills but also [hope] that the report will be coming very soon,” he continued. 

Grein, who says that he was abused by then-Father McCarrick from the age of 11, came forward in July 2018 to tell his story to the New York Times, revealing only his first name. That November, James, now in his 60s, spoke at a rally outside the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall meeting in Baltimore, revealing his full name.

The Vatican sought Mr. Grein’s testimony, which was vital to the verdict as McCarrick sexually abused him during Confession — a particularly grave crime according to canon law. Grein says he gave his testimony on December 27, 2018.


  homosexuality, sex abuse coverup, sex abuse crisis, theodore mccarrick, vatican cover-up

News

‘I want to stay alive’: 91-year-old mother in legal fight to stay on life-support in US hospital 

Video captured of the woman clearly shows her saying 'I want to live.'
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 2:23 pm EST
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Arline Lester
Scott Schittl
By

URGENT PETITION: Help Arline fight for her life! Sign the petition here.

NEW YORK, January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A conscious and alert 91-year-old woman’s life hangs in the balance as she fights for her right to live by remaining on life support after having her leg amputated in a US hospital. 

Video captured of Arline Lester clearly shows her saying “I want to stay alive.”

The battle for Arline’s life or death is apparently the result of a dispute involving her two sons, over their mother’s (Arline) future care.

While one son says that Arline’s old living will (stating that she did not want her life prolonged in case of severe infirmity) should be honored, her other son says that her new, updated will (confirming her desire to live) should be honored.

The mother’s fate is now being decided in a county court in New York. Arline’s feeding tube and ventilator could be removed, resulting in her death by starvation

The mother, who was a public school teacher in Brooklyn for 25 years, was recently evaluated as mentally capable of making her own decisions - to update her living will, which reflects her desire to live.

The son who is trying to help his mother and honor her will to live, Ed Lester, has also stated his intention to care for his mother once she starts to recover her strength.

It should also be noted that the video, in which Arline says she wants to live, was taken by her son Ed, to coincide with the approval of her new living will. The video was captured Nov. 7, 2019.

Yesterday, a Nassau County (NY) Court Judge, Julianne Capetola, started hearing the case which could have two possible results: either Arline will be allowed to recover with proper medical treatment being given; or, Arline’s feeding tube and ventilator could be removed, resulting in her death by starvation.

Judge Capetola also issued a gag order, yesterday, preventing those involved with the case from speaking to the media.

A petition asking the courts to respect Arline’s right to life has been started by LifePetitions and the Personhood Alliance.

CLICK HERE to SIGN THE PETITION and support Arline’s fight for life.

A crowdfunding page has been set-up to help Arline’s legal defense raise a war chest to defend her right to life. 

CLICK HERE to donate to help Arline’s lawyers as they fight for her.


  arline lester, dehydration, end of life, euthanasia, julianne capetola, life support, living will, new york, nutrition and hydration, starvation

News

Pro-life Canadians mobilize to influence Conservative Party leadership race

'Social conservatives cannot waste any time in mobilizing new party memberships and renewals of existing memberships in the Conservative Party.'
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 12:44 pm EST
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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life and pro-family political lobbying group, is urging supporters to join the Conservative Party of Canada immediately to take part in what it says will be a watershed leadership race.

The party announced Friday the contest will end June 27 with the winner declared at the Toronto Congress Centre.

“Social conservatives cannot waste any time in mobilizing new party memberships and renewals of existing memberships in the Conservative Party,” says Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life Coalition’s director of political operations. 

“We have to ensure we have a majority of the votes so that a pro-life, pro-family candidate comes out on top.”

Lisa Raitt, former Conservative MP and co-chair with Dan Nowlan of the leadership race organizing committee, echoed the sense of urgency, telling CTV News the party opted for a short race because the current minority government may not “go longer than the next vote of confidence. We want the party to be prepared.”

Nor should potential candidates delay declaring, she advised.

“People, if they haven’t made up their mind, they’re going to have to make up their mind in the next 10 days,” Raitt said. 

Although the party has not formally released contest regulations, sources told CBC candidates will have to pay a fee of $300,000 and gather 3,000 signatures of support to enter the race.

Notably, the race will end one day before Toronto’s notoriously salacious “Pride” parade, Canada’s largest such pro-homosexual event, prompting suggestions the newly minted Tory leader will have an immediate opportunity to demonstrate his or her leanings.

Timing to coincide with the parade “wasn’t part of the decision-making process,” Raitt told CTV, adding that organizers wanted to hold the vote “as quickly as possible.”

But the date underscores the inevitable significance the infamously lewd “Pride” Parade has taken on in a race that is crucial for Canada’s social conservatives, who are essentially banned from running in the Liberal and New Democratic Party. 

Outgoing leader Andrew Scheer, who resigned December 12, never marched in Pride events, although he vowed to uphold LGBTQ “rights.”

Two weeks after the October federal election in which the Tories gained 22 seats but lost to the Liberals by 36, Conservative strategist Jason Lietaer told CTV that Scheer not marching in homosexual parades was a “mistake.” 

Kory Teneycke, Stephen Harper’s former director of communications, and one-time campaign manager for Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s, also told CTV at the time that Scheer’s position “could be fatal” to his future as leader.

Public opinion in Canada has evolved to the point that Teneycke believes it’s not acceptable to be personally opposed to same-sex “marriage” and lead the country, contrary to Scheer’s expressed view shortly after the election, CTV reported.

Indeed, the problem was not that Scheer didn’t march in Pride Parades, but that the Catholic father of five still views homosexuality as a sin, Teneycke told CTV.

“To view it as a sin means that you think that being gay is a choice and I think most people would say it’s not,” he said.

“Overwhelmingly Canadians do not accept that you can hold the position that ‘I am not in favour of equal rights for gays and that I have a moral, a personal moral problem with gay marriage.’ I think that is viewed increasingly as bigotry,” he said. 

But such claims reveal an “anti-religious bigotry” on the part of those making them against Canadians whose faith teaches them that homosexual acts are morally wrong, Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.

“The left-wingers in the party establishment –  folks who don’t even deserve the title ‘conservative’, like Kory Teneycke — are hell-bent on transforming the Conservative Party into a gay-pride-marching, abortion-loving, anti-free speech carbon copy of Trudeau’s Liberal Party,” he said.

“If an anti-religious, progressive bigot who echoes the discriminatory views of Teneycke is elected as leader of the Conservative Party, its socially conservative base would abandon the party in droves, and the only one coming out on top would be Justin Trudeau,” added Fonseca.

The Conservative Party “is the only mainstream party where pro-life and pro-family Canadians have a home, and that must remain the case,” he stressed. 

“This destruction of the Conservative Party as we know it, as envisioned by Teneycke, must not be allowed to pass.”

Campaign Life Coalition “believes that there will be at least two or three strong social conservatives who run for the leadership – individuals with much stronger principles and convictions than Scheer ever had,” he said.

“So we encourage every pro-life, pro-family and free-speech-loving Canadian to join or renew their membership in the Conservative Party ASAP,” Fonseca said.

People can join the party as young as 14 years old. 

“Campaign Life Coalition is asking pro-life and pro-family Canadians who join or renew their membership to shoot them an email at [email protected] confirming they have done so," Fonseca said.

At this time, businessman Bryan Brulotte is the only declared contender, reported Canadian Press.

Rumoured potential contenders for the top job include Rona Ambrose, Peter MacKay, Pierre Poilievre, Michelle Rempel Garner, Candice Bergen, Michael Chong, Erin O’Toole and Gérard Deltell, reported CTV.

Queenie Yu, member of Parents As First Educators and founder of the Ontario Stop the New Sex Ed Agenda Party “is thought to be kicking the tires on a leadership bid,” according to TVO’s Steve Pakin.

Join or renew your membership in the Conservative Party of Canada here.


  abortion, campaign life coalition, canada, conservative party of canada, leadership race, pro-life, queenie yu

News

Pro-life leaders warn: Equal Rights Amendment is actually ‘Everything Related to Abortion Act’

The letter was sent in advance of state-based votes expected in January and in anticipation of Congress taking up the effort in the new year.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 12:05 pm EST
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Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life and pro-family leaders sent a joint letter to members of the U.S. Congress and state legislators in Virginia this week in opposition to efforts to change the rules for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and to force it through the Virginia legislature.

The letter was sent in advance of state-based votes expected in January and in anticipation of Congress taking up the effort in the new year. 

The letter’s signers include Students for Life of America (SFLA) President Kristan Hawkins, Live Action Founder and President Lila Rose, Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb, Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate Abby Johnson, and Concerned Women for America President and CEO Penny Nance.

“Let us be clear, laws protecting women’s interests will be undercut by the radical language of the ERA that strips away from women their unique place in the law,” the letter says. “Not only will real protections be overwritten by this heavy-handed measure, the most profound change will be creating a constitutional foothold for abortion and introduction of vague language on ‘sex’ that may harm women’s unique interests.” 

SFLA actively opposed the measure when Virginia last took it up, but in light of the change in the legislature, the ERA is expected to come up quickly. SFLA is also working in South Carolina and Utah, where lawmakers are considering the measure. 

As Hawkins noted in a recent op-ed at the Washington Times

“In 1972, Congress passed the ERA as a constitutional amendment, setting a deadline of ratification by March 1979 from three-fourths of the states (38). However, only 35 states voted in favor by that deadline, and since then five states voted to rescind their ratification. Rather than admitting defeat, Congress extended the deadline to June 1982. While some argue that extension wasn’t legal, it became a moot point as the measure failed again … The issue of abortion animates this debate as many believe the future of Roe v. Wade is in doubt given the shaky legal foundation on which rests. Roe legally allows abortion through all nine months, for any reason and at and sometimes with taxpayer funding. Should Roe v. Wade be overturned, the issue of abortion would be returned to the states, where people could have a voice and a vote on policy that today is decided by a handful of judges. Unless there is a new foothold in the Constitution through the ERA.”

“When Roe falls, the issue of abortion will return to the states where voters finally with have a voice and a vote on life-related policy,” said Hawkins. “The Pro-Life Generation will actively oppose the ERA as it really is a Trojan Horse for abortion, an attempt to create a Constitutional foothold to replace Roe.


  abortion, equal rights amendment, virginia

Opinion

Netflix joins liberal media outlet to produce perverse sex ‘education’ series

'Sex, Explained' includes 'nonjudgmental' treatment of topics like sleeping with multiple partners, being attracted to partners of either sex, and bondage.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 8:29 pm EST
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Julie Mitchell
By Julie Mitchell

PETITION: 'Dump Netflix' over their attack on unborn babies Sign the petition here.

January 7, 2019 (NewsBusters) — Have you ever browsed through Netflix, looking for a show that went into detail about the strange sexual fantasies and tendencies of other people? Me neither. But Netflix sure has come a long way from being solely a streaming service to now creating and promoting shows that showcase sexual fetishes, like sleeping with multiple partners, being attracted to partners of either sex, and bondage.

The show, Sex, Explained was created through a collaboration with Netflix and left-wing news site Vox. Left-wing actress Janelle Monáe narrates the docuseries, detailing topics like childbirth, sexual fantasies, and attraction.

The fact that Netflix now automatically plays the trailer of this docuseries when viewers open the platform means families are being exposed to this hedonistic content without selecting anything. And this is quite impactful, considering that more U.S. households have Netflix than pay TV. 

To woke journalists, though, this docuseries serves as a kind of sex education for people. The Daily Beast reviewed ‘Sex, Explained,’ applauding it for being ‘nonjudgmental:’

Monáe’s warm, even voice carries a reassuring lack of judgment that defines the series. It’s especially effective as the introductory episode works to normalize kinks and convey the vast spectrum of human sexuality. “There’s a lot of variability in sexual fantasies and they don’t tell you anything reliable about you,” explains psychologist Lisa Diamond … “If you have fantasies that disturb you or scare you, and you wonder what they mean, they don’t mean a lot. So, don’t worry so much about them.” 

Ironically, though, the left is “nonjudgmental” to those who praise LGBTQ+ activism and promote promiscuity, but “judge” those who decide to practice abstinence or save themselves until marriage. Netflix is not the same platform it was five years ago; it has dangerously become another propaganda machine of the left.

Published with permission from NewsBusters.

PETITION: Dump Netflix over video depicting Jesus as a homosexual Sign the petition here.


  lgbt tyranny, mainstream media, netflix, pornography, propaganda, sex education, television

Opinion

Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globes speech begs the question: Why does anyone care what Hollywood says?

The mostly hypocritical opinions of these talented but immoral authorities don't deserve the attention they receive.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 7:59 pm EST
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Ricky Gervais at the 2020 Golden Globes.
Michael L. Brown Michael L. Brown Follow Dr. Michael
By Dr. Michael Brown

January 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- Did you ever stop to wonder who granted moral authority to famous actors and actresses? Did you ever ask yourself why their opinions should carry extra weight? After all, it’s one thing to be a certain person, such as a political leader or an athlete or a cancer survivor and to speak from your experience. It’s another thing to make believe you were that person. How does making believe qualify you to speak?

At the moment, Ricky Gervais’ scathing takedown of woke Hollywood at the Golden Globes on Sunday night is getting all the attention it deserves. And, according to Ryan Saavedra, “The reaction to Gervais’ speech appeared to be overwhelmingly positive among people who do not work in the news, media, or entertainment industries.”

But Gervais’ frontal assault on Hollywood hypocrisy begs a deeper question. Why should we even care what Hollywood icons have to say?

We can admire their giftings. (Some of them are incredibly gifted.)

We can appreciate their hard work and, at times, even sacrificial efforts to present memorable moments in film. Some of them go to extreme lengths to play a particular part, immersing themselves in the characters they portray, and viewers benefit from their efforts.

Directors and screenwriters and animators and others also use their skills to produce some amazing movies and shows. And it’s fine to appreciate and respect what they do.

At the same time, none of this qualifies them to be moral authorities, and we should pay no more attention to their opinions than to the opinions of our neighbor next door.

In fact, to some degree, we should pay less attention to their opinions.

That’s because some of them are quite immoral personally, not to mention living an elite, ultra-wealthy bubble.

Some have deep personal issues, from emotional struggles to family breakdowns and more.

Why should we say to them, “Please share your views with me on marriage and relationships and the meaning of life”?

Some Hollywood performers are seductresses, baring their bodies for millions to see, becoming objects of lust and sexual fantasy. Should I question my pro-life values because they are pro-abortion? Should this matter to me?

Others glorify violence in the most extreme forms imaginable (or should I say unimaginable)?

People are sliced up or shot up or chopped up. Eyes are ripped out or poked out or pulled out. Human beings, created in the image of God, are torn to pieces or blown to pieces or tortured or maimed or slaughtered. Blood gushes on the screen as heads are torn off and limbs are detached – all for our entertainment.

And to keep our interest, the violence has to become more intense, more graphic, more repulsive.

Yet the very actors who play these murderous roles and the producers who fund these bloody pictures now want to lecture us about gun control or foreign policy. Seriously? To repeat: Why on earth should we care?

Do these icons have the right to express their opinions? Of course they do.

Do they have the right to use their fame as a platform to disseminate their message? Without a doubt.

But that doesn’t mean that we have to listen. And it certainly doesn’t mean that they have some kind of moral high horse on which to stand. Really, now. Since when does Hollywood get to preach morality?

While listening to an audio course on the French Revolution, I found it interesting that, at one point in 18th century France, the moral credibility of professional actors was deeply questioned. After all, they made their living by pretending to be who they were not. Maybe they are acting now? Who are they, really?

As noted by the author of an article posted on the Ordinary Times (this quote is from the author’s interaction with readers in the comments section): “Society has always been hypocritical with performing artists and this leads to continued disrespect for this day. Actors at various points have been considered no better and often closely linked to prostitutes. Actors were not able to get proper burial in France until the French Revolution abolished the power of the Church to control burials.”

But when it comes to actors today, they are often exalted beyond all measure, as if they could really fly through the air or really had supernatural powers or really were equal to everyone they ever portrayed.

The fact is, they are as human as the rest of us and certainly just as flawed. And while we can appreciate the fine people who are in Hollywood and be thrilled to see a powerful, godly, moral witness that is emerging, let’s stay real. 

Hollywood has made billions of dollars on immorality and violence, on mocking God and demeaning people of faith, on sending mixed and even perverted messages.

It’s time that Hollywood preach to itself. 

Perhaps Ricky Gervais will start a trend? And perhaps we could pick up where he left off: Yes, you’re a bunch of compromised hypocrites. But there’s good news. Jesus died for people just like you!


  golden globes, hollywood, moral authority, ricky gervais

Opinion

Evangelical leaders praise Trump as Christians’ best friend in the 21st century

Christians, Trump told a packed megachurch, 'have never had a greater champion — not even close — than you have in the White House right now.'
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 7:08 pm EST
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Miami Herald / YouTube
Tony Perkins Tony Perkins
By Tony Perkins

January 7, 2019 (FRC Action) — "I may not be perfect," President Trump admitted, "but I get things done." And for many voters, including evangelicals, that's what matters. In fact, for the thousands of supporters packed into Miami's Ministerio Internacional El Rey Jesús last Friday, it was probably the best explanation yet for the strong bond between Christians and this White House. Unlike the media, who can't seem to understand the appeal of this president to his most enthusiastic base, evangelicals would say it's simple: promises made, promises kept. And they have three years of examples to prove it.

To the outside world, it's a mystery. To conservatives, there's nothing baffling about it. Donald Trump won the election by offering a contrast to the Left's anti-faith, anti-family agenda. But he's won respect by acting on it. And the flocks of faithful pouring into his rallies appreciate that. "There are plenty of evangelical Americans who maybe didn't support President Trump in [2016] because they didn't believe he was a true ally," one campaign official pointed out. But those same people, he went on, "are now taking a second look at him because of his record."

It's that record, the one President Trump touted for the better part of 75 minutes, that the throngs of people jammed into the Florida megachurch stood and cheered. When he tweeted, in classic Trump fashion, that no president had ever done more for Christians than his administration, it was true. From the unborn to judges, international religious freedom to Israel, this White House has earned the support it's getting.

Christians, the president repeated, "have never had a greater champion — not even close — than you have in the White House right now. Look at the record," Trump urged. "We've done things that nobody thought was possible. We're not only defending our constitutional rights, we're also defending religion itself, which is under siege." That's important, he argued, because "America was not built by religion-hating socialists. America was built by churchgoing, God-worshiping, freedom-loving patriots."

And those patriots, President Trump insisted, are the ones being attacked. "Faith-based schools, charities, hospitals, adoption agencies, pastors were systematically targeted by federal bureaucrats and ordered to stop following their beliefs," he pointed out. That all changed when his teams at HHS, Justice, and Education got involved rolling back the waves of hostility aimed directly at men and women of faith. "The day I was sworn in, the federal government's war on religion came to an abrupt end," he said. "My administration will never stop fighting for Americans of faith," Trump vowed. "We will restore the faith as the true foundation of American life."

Maybe that, as Pastor Jentezen Franklin prayed, is what believers appreciate most about this administration. "...America didn't need a preacher in the Oval Office," he said, bowing his head. "It did not need a professional politician in the Oval Office. But it needed a fighter and a champion for freedom. Lord, that is exactly what we have." And more than that, I thought, as I watched pastors lay their hands on the president, we have a fighter who isn't ashamed of the people he's fighting for. After all, when was the last time you saw a president of the United States from either party surrounded by faith leaders in a completely public and unscripted prayer? It's rare, I assure you.

That comfort level is what's helped to create a real and honest connection with evangelicals. While others, even some Republicans, seem embarrassed by what Christians stand for, Trump's adamance stands out.

"We will not allow faithful Americans to be bullied by the far Left," he insisted to roaring applause. "We're not going to allow it..." There are those, he pointed out, "who say these sacred beliefs are outdated. But we know they are just the opposite. Our traditions and our values are timeless and immortal. [The political Left doesn't] know what they are missing. Our faith is needed now more than ever."

Those aren't exactly views his 2020 opposition shares. Trump did more than hint at the contrast, reminding the crowd that "every Democrat candidate running for president is trying to punish religious believers and silence our churches and our pastors. Our opponents want to shut out God from the public square so they can impose their extreme anti-religious and socialist agenda on America." If conservatives stop them, he believes, it will be because the country's faithful got involved.

"In 2016, evangelical Christians went out and helped us in numbers never seen before... I really believe we have God on our side... or there would have been no way that we could have won," Trump told the crowd. "People say, 'How do you win? You don't have the media. You have so many things against you.' And we win. So there has to be something."

For more on the Trump administration's record, don't miss FRC Action's new 2017–19 overview, available here.

Published with permission from FRC Action.


  2020 presidential election, christianity, donald trump, religious freedom

Opinion

Time for Pope Francis and the Vatican to wake up about Islam

Whatever the intention, do Pope Francis's policies and programs actually tend toward the destruction of the West and of Christianity?
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 6:53 pm EST
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William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick

January 7, 2019 (The Catholic Thing) — In comments last year, Marcello Pera, a prominent Italian intellectual and non-believer, criticized Pope Francis for “openly going against tradition, doctrine, and introducing inexplicable innovations, behaviors and gestures.”

A philosopher of science, former president of the Italian Senate, and close friend of Pope Benedict XVI, Pera asserted that Francis had turned Catholicism into “a Church so outgoing that it can no longer be found anywhere.”

In an earlier 2017 interview with Il Mattino, Pera was even more outspoken. In answer to a question about “indiscriminate” welcoming of migrants to Europe, he replied: “Frankly, I do not get this pope, whatever he says is beyond any rational understanding. It’s evident to all that an indiscriminate welcoming is not possible: there is a critical point that can’t be reached.”

He continued: “If the pope ... insists in a massive and total welcoming, I ask myself: why does he say it? ... Why does he lack a minimum of realism, that very little that is requested of anyone? The answer I can give myself is only one: The Pope does it because he hates the West, he aspires to destroy it. ... As he aspires to destroy the Christian tradition.”

Two years ago, most Catholics would have found that hard to swallow. But now, the idea that Pope Francis hates the West is beginning to seem plausible. It would explain much of what he says and does — his criticism of capitalism and colonialism, Amazonian initiative and, above all, encouragement of mass Muslim migration into Europe.

Does he also aspire to destroy the Christian tradition? Well, he rarely misses an opportunity to criticize traditional Catholics. At the same time, he seems intent on introducing exotic and decidedly non-traditional practices into the life of the Church.

The key word, of course, is “aspires.” Does Francis consciously desire to “destroy” the West and traditional Christianity (aka Christianity)? Or is he simply a well-intentioned do-gooder who doesn’t understand the consequences of his experiments?

That’s a serious question, but it’s unnecessary to know the answer in order to raise a related question: Whatever the intention, do his policies and programs actually tend toward the destruction of the West and of Christianity?

I would say, “Yes, they do.” And I would argue, as Professor Pera does, that they “lack a minimum of realism.” Future historians may well look back upon our era as the Age of Unreality. And many in the Church have embraced this unreality as though it were a newly revealed Gospel.

Some Church leaders have been flirting with the idea of same-sex marriage, and some seem willing to believe that females can transition to males and males to females. Others, including the pope himself, seem to believe in the fantasy idea that the lot of the poor can be improved by getting rid of fossil-fuels — which may be the reason that they have also revived the fantasy of the Noble Savage. Because, minus the benefits of electric power, much of the world will be quickly reduced to a primitive level. In which case, we may all find ourselves praying to Pachamama and the rain gods for a good harvest.

The most dangerous fantasy, however, is the one that Church leaders have created about Islam. We are told that it’s a religion of peace, that it shares much common ground with Christianity, that Muslims venerate Jesus just as Catholics do, that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, and that the slaughter of Christians by Muslims can be attributed to a tiny minority who “misunderstand” their religion.

At the same time, we are taught that “Islamophobia” — an irrational fear of Islam — is a far greater danger than Islamic aggression.

Pera’s point is that these supposedly “irrational” fears are actually quite reasonable. He is mainly concerned with the fantasy that Europe can successfully absorb millions of Muslim migrants who don’t want to assimilate. But as one can see, there is a whole basketful of other fantasies that Catholic leaders believe about Islam.

Where does the fantasy come from? Some attribute it to the influence of Louis Massignon (1883–1962), a French Catholic scholar of Islam whose work had a profound effect on Catholic thinking. Yet Massignon’s main interest was in the Sufi mystical tradition within Islam, which is only a sliver of the whole. In short, Massignon and his followers seem to have confused Islam with a relatively small sect of Islam — one that is unrepresentative of mainstream beliefs and practices. Indeed, many Muslims look upon the Sufis as heretics.

Massignon’s magnum opus was published almost 100 years ago, yet many Catholics still take his idiosyncratic view of Islam to be the “true” and “authentic” Islam. Ever since the publication of Nostra Aetate in 1965, this woefully inadequate view of Islam has been handed down to successive generations of Catholics, and it’s well past time to challenge it.

Over against the fantasies, there stands an abundance of facts about Islam that are not friendly to the current Catholic narrative. Catholics need to acquaint themselves with these facts lest they be lured into a deadly complacency.

Let’s start with one rather large and longstanding fact: All of North Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East were once Catholic. In fact, for many centuries they were the great centers of Catholic culture. Now, however, these regions are over 90 percent Muslim.

Fast forward a millennium and it looks like the same thing is happening again. Lebanon was 62 percent Christian in 1970, but by 2010 the Christian population was only 36 percent. In Iraq, the Christian population has declined by more than 90 percent just since 2003. Meanwhile, Christians are being slaughtered in the name of Islam all over the world — in Nigeria, Syria, Kenya, Burkina Faso, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere.

It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s a much more accurate one than that painted by the Church’s current cadre of whitewashers, and one that those of us possessing even “a minimum of realism” need to take very seriously.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.


  catholic, christianity, islam, jihad, pope francis

Opinion

Secularism and Islam are cooperating to attack the Church

The watered-down religion of human fraternity which some Catholics hope to bring about will be no match for either militant secularism or militant Islam.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 6:25 pm EST
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Pope Francis embraces Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyeb, Egyptian imam of al-Azhar. dailystar.com
William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick

January 7, 2019 (Turning Point Project) — Jesus assured us that the gates of hell will not prevail against his Church. But we're not told how much damage will be done to the Church in the meantime. So much damage has been done in recent years that, from a purely worldly perspective, it sometimes looks as if Christianity is on the path to extinction.

Polls in the U.S. and in Europe reveal that fewer people identify as Christians with each passing year, while a growing number — the "nones" — don't identify with any religion. That trend seems likely to continue.

One reason is that advances in technology, medicine, and science have created the illusion that our needs can be met on a purely secular level. The gospel of wealth and health and positive thinking that was popular with many Protestant Christians in the first half of the twentieth century has been revived — only this time without the Gospel. You can easily find it on the internet: "8 Life lessons everyone should learn before 2020", "Neuroscience says listening to this song reduces anxiety by up to 65%", and "5 ways to reduce your risk of developing dementia according to new research". And this is only a very small sampling of the myriad ways you can improve your life and boost your self-esteem without recourse to religion.

Thus, the Internet with its many answers to life's problems, can, for some, become a substitute for religion. And for most of the rest of us, it serves to distract our attention away from the deeper questions about the purpose of our life.

But the decline of Christianity is caused not just by the many distractions of modern life, but also by direct attacks against it. And these seem to be escalating. The three main assaults against Christianity come from secularism, Islam, and, ironically, from within Christianity itself.

Most Christians who pay attention are aware of the first threat. Committed secularists maintain that Christians are free to believe whatever they want just as long as they don't bring their beliefs into the public realm. Thus, you are free to believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, but if you're a baker, a florist, or a wedding photographer, you must lay your beliefs aside for the sake of "community standards" — that is, for the standards of the ideological left.

It's becoming apparent, however, that secularists won't be satisfied merely with policing the public sphere. It's not unreasonable to conclude the day is approaching when the reading of an epistle at Mass will be a hate crime, priests will be forced to perform same-sex "weddings", and it will be compulsory for Catholic schools to teach the joy of LGBT sex.

Even if militant secularists could be stopped from breaking down the doors of Catholic churches and schools, they have already managed to undermine Christianity in significant ways. One of the most effective ways is to consign Christian teachings to the realm of the unfashionable, or worse. How is this accomplished? It's simple enough. When the fashionable people who control advertising, the entertainment industry, the NFL, and the public schools say that trans and gay are A-OK, any individual or institution who says otherwise is, almost by definition, unfashionable. And that's all that those who aspire to "woke" status need to know about Christianity.

The second major attack on Christianity comes from Islam. In places where Muslims are a distinct minority, the attack often comes in the form of demands for equal treatment which soon become demands for special rights. In Europe, Muslims present themselves as the "new Jews" — victims of racism and discrimination who deserve special treatment to compensate for their sufferings. In liberal, secular Europe this ploy is quite effective. Thus, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that criticism of Islam is a crime. And in England, police arrest Christian street preachers for fear that the Christian message will offend Muslims.

In parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Christians come in for much harsher treatment. They face daily persecution and even genocide. But relatively few Christians in the West are aware of the extent of the Islamic assault on Christianity, either in Europe or in the developing world.

Why? Because the same fashionable people who think it's fine to bring drag queens into your public library act like Victorian-era prudes when it comes to Islam. Persecution of Christians at the hands of Muslims? You should be ashamed of yourself for even broaching such a delicate topic. Polite people don't talk about such things. Indeed, the fashionable people who feel that they have a perfect right to teach your children that gay is okay, also believe that they have a God-given (excuse the language) mandate to teach them that Islam is a religion of peace and justice — unlike that other religion that supposedly introduced slavery, sexism, and homophobia to the world.

The frequency and intensity of Muslim attacks on Christians is magnified by the media's silence. Reporters and journalists who raise an outcry whenever other groups are persecuted, are stricken with laryngitis when Christians are the target. When elephants are hunted in Africa, reporters jump to their defense, but when it's Christians who are in danger, all they can muster is a shrug of the shoulder.

The tacit and sometimes not-so-tacit alliance between secularists and Islamists means that Christians are up against a combination of formidable foes. What makes the situation worse is that the Church is also under attack from powerful people within its own ranks.

These Churchmen seem intent on transforming the Church from a God-centered institution to a man-centered organization. Their goal is not to seek the Kingdom of Heaven, but to create a humanitarian and egalitarian community here on earth — possibly in partnership with the United Nations.

However, in the process of making the Church more acceptable to the world, they have weakened the Church in the eyes of the world. When the Church claimed to be the One True Church, she commanded more respect (though sometimes grudgingly) from the world. Now that leading Churchmen make no claim to exclusivity, the Church commands much less respect.

Of course, this loss of respect is compounded by the recent revelations of corruption in the Church — sexual and financial corruption and everything in between. It may well be that this corruption is the direct result of exchanging the goal of sanctification for more humanistic goals. In any event, it seems fair to say that the Church in recent years has lost both respect and credibility, and has even become something of a laughing stock — an old boys club where the old boys act like frat boys. The world, however, seems willing to overlook these "foibles" because the "new Church" has proven useful to progressive causes.

Some in the Church have proven useful to the Muslim world as well. That's because various churchmen have become apologists for, and enablers of, Islam. Many Church leaders long ago joined the chorus of world leaders who — with hardly a shred of evidence — claimed that Islam is a religion of peace — a tranquil faith that has nothing to do with terror.

Not only were church leaders willing to whitewash Islamic history and doctrine, they were, in large part, willing to overlook the Muslim slaughter of Christians in the developing world.

When Benedict XVI had the temerity to decry the bombing of Christian churches in Egypt, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar broke off the university's dialogue with the Vatican, and only agreed to reopen it if Pope Francis promised not to cross the "red line" — namely, criticism of Islam.

Francis gladly agreed, presumably on the assumption that terrorists are misunderstanders of "true" Islam. As he stated in Evangelii Gaudium: "Authentic Islam and a proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence."

It appears that Francis and his circle not only think that Catholicism can be turned into a sort of humanistic religion, they apparently think the same of Islam. The "Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together" which was signed jointly by Francis and the Grand Imam is full of humanistic nostrums, and it seems to assume that the coming one-world religion is only a step away.

Of course, if Francis's assessment of Islam as a nascent humanistic religion is correct, then there is reason to hope for a more peaceful world. But if he is wrong — if, as President Erdogan of Turkey has said, "Islam is Islam, and that's that" — then the newly humanized Church has put itself in a very bad position vis-à-vis both Islam and secularism.

In times past, the Catholic Church was a rallying point against both the aggressiveness of Islam and the excesses of secularism. In its present weakened state, however, it is hard to imagine it as a rallying point for anything other than LGBT initiatives and socialist schemes. Like Francis, secularists long for a one-world government, but it takes a special kind of naiveté to believe that the one they envision will be hospitable to Catholics and other Christians. Like Francis, Muslims, too, yearn for a one-world religion, but the one world religion they have in mind is Islam — not a syncretic blend of spiritualities.

The watered-down religion of human fraternity which some Catholics hope to bring about will be no match for either militant secularism or militant Islam. And it will certainly be no match for a simultaneous assault from both forces.

From a worldly perspective, the odds for the survival of Christianity do not look good. On the other hand, we have Christ's promise that the Church will emerge victorious. And that changes the odds considerably.

This article originally appeared in the January 5, 2020 edition of Catholic World Report. It is published here with permission from the Turning Point Project.


  atheism, catholic, islam, jihad, pope francis, secularism

Blogs

Let’s be better men. The Crisis in the Church is connected to a Crisis of Manhood

Exodus 90 is a spiritual exercise program that seeks to liberate men from distractions and sin
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 2:56 pm EST
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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

Sign up for the January 13th Exodus 90 program that runs until Easter! Click here.

January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Are you a Catholic man who wants to grow in humility and steel yourself to become a soldier in the war for the soul of the Church raging right now? If you are, Exodus 90 is a new spiritual program you should to look into.

James Baxter is a former seminarian who helped bring Exodus 90 to reality. He spoke with me about his inspiring work on this week’s John-Henry Westen Show.

Exodus 90 is a 90-day spiritual exercise that originated as a seminary program at Mount St. Mary’s in Maryland. It’s goal is to strip away distractions so men can better fulfill their vocation in life. Since it’s inception, more than 20,000 men have gone through its exercises.

“It’s all about freedom for us,” James told me. “Most men are enslaved to different things….Exodus humbles you [and] humility places us back in touch with reality.” 

Some of the things men who sign up for Exodus 90 have to live by can be quite challenging. Taking cold showers, not drinking alcohol, fasting, limited technology use, exercising regularly, and committing to a daily holy hour are just a few of its requirements. 

James said it’s not always easy to accomplish this. However, local face-to-face meet ups (where possible) with other Exodus 90 participants hold everyone accountable. “Dependencies are halved in the 90 days,” he informed me. Moreover, many wives of the men who do Exodus 90 express gratitude about the changes they have seen in their husbands, he said.

Men who sign up for Exodus 90 typically approach other men in their diocese or parish to get them to participate. “Most men are very isolated, very alone,” James said. “Fraternity doesn’t exist in the contemporary church.” Whats unique about Exodus 90 is that it’s highly popular among ecclesial groups and younger Catholics. Over 50% of men who sign up for it are under the age of 34. 

Exodus membership is $10 each month, which includes unlimited access to Exodus 90 and over 3 years of "Day 91" spiritual exercises, which walk men through all 14 narrative books of the Bible to help them to preserve their freedom and build upon their formation. 

This year, the Lenten Exodus 90 program begins on January 13 and ends on Easter. So don’t miss out.

I'll be giving it a shot myself with a group and I hope you will too.

Visit the Exodus 90 website by clicking here.

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

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

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

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


  catholic, catholicvote.org, exodus 90, james baxter, the john-henry westen show

Blogs

German cardinal warns that adapting to ‘spirit of the age’ would make Church useless

A Church that adapts to the spirit of her time loses her 'prophetic mandate and mission' and 'would be of no use anymore': Cardinal Rainer Woelki
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 1:17 pm EST
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Cardinal Rainer Woelki.
Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike
By Maike Hickson

January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Rainer Woelki, the archbishop of Cologne, warned Catholics in a homily yesterday that the Church adapting to the spirit of the age (zeitgeist) would make her lose her “prophetic mandate and mission” and would render her “of no use anymore.” 

Cardinal Woelki made his remarks in a January 6 homily he delivered on the occasion of the Feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the coming of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem. He warned the Church against adapting herself to the world and reminded his hearers that the Three Wise Men – as well as the builders of his own Cologne cathedral, who had placed a star atop of its crossing tower – were intending “solely and exclusively to seek and to proclaim Christ as the Light of this world.” 

Man, according to this German prelate, needs this “Light” in order to “find his way,” especially “in our time, in which the orientation towards the true salvation has become difficult, due to the confusing pluralism of offers of salvation.”

“Even in the Church,” he continued, this orientation seems to have gotten lost, since a polyphonic choir of opinions, personal views, and interests seeks to relativize and adapt to the world God's Revelation and the Church's faith.” 

However, such a faith according to the zeitgeist, according to Cardinal Woelki, loses her being a “compelling alternative” to those other offers that are being presented to us anyway “day by day.”

“He who does not have an orientation,” explained Woelki, “loses direction. And he who loses the direction, loses the life; he becomes irrelevant,” is not anymore an “alternative that is to be taken seriously.”

Referring back to the star that has been placed atop of the crossing tower of the Cologne Cathedral in reference to the shrine of the Three Wise Men that is to be found in this cathedral, Cardinal Woelki told his hearers that this star, in contrast to the spirit of our time, “gives us the direction, just as the Star of Bethlehem had done it earlier.” This star “points to the Light, in which alone is to be found salvation,” according to the German cardinal. 

“The Child in the manger is that Salvation,” he concluded. “And wherever this Child is being welcomed, the life of a man receives direction and orientation. Then life becomes salvation.”

Cardinal Woelki also pointed back to the “whole faith of the Church, as it is being proclaimed and lived in an unabridged manner and as it has been laid down by the Apostles and as the Church has borne witness to it and has preserved it over time.” That faith, he explained, helps us that we do not follow erroneous lights.

The prelate went on to say that this true faith “contains truth that transcends time and that preserves the Church and the Gospel which has been entrusted to her lest she adapt to the spirit, to the views and opinions, and to the feelings of a certain time period.” 

Here, one might well remember that there was another time period in German history where many Catholics were tempted to adapt to the “spirit of the times,” which was then called National-Socialist. During the two family synods, another German-speaking cardinal – Cardinal Kurt Koch – had made that explicit reference.

At the time, two leading German bishops – actually the same leaders that are quite influential in today's discussions in Germany: Cardinal Reinhard Marx and Franz-Josef Bishop Bode – had proposed that the Church listen more to the “life realities” of our time and therefore admit “remarried” divorcees to Holy Communion.

In 2015, the Swiss Cardinal Koch commented on these claims, as follows:

Let us think of the 'German Christians' during the time of National Socialism, when, next to the Holy Scripture, they also raised up the Nation and the Race as sources of revelation, against which the Theological Declaration of Barmen (1934) [which had rejected the submission of the Protestant churches to the State] protested. We have to differentiate very carefully here and listen with sensitivity to the signs of the times – and to the spirit that reveals itself in these signs: which ones are signs of the Gospel, which ones are not?

Cardinal Woelki also seems to make an indirect reference to the time of the Third Reich when he stated in his homily that such a Church which adapts herself to the spirit of her time would lose her “prophetic mandate and mission,” adding that “such an adapted and assimilated Church  [“gleichgeschaltete Kirche”] would be of no use anymore.” 

The word gleichschaltung is often being used with reference to Hitler's politics during the Third Reich which aimed at controlling all aspects of public life in Germany.

Finally, Cardinal Woelki then returned once more to the main topic in his homily, namely, that the seekers of the star in Bethlehem find in Bethlehem the Light, God's Son, “in which alone is to be found all salvation and life.”


  catholic, germany, rainer woelki, star of bethlehem, zeitgeist

Blogs

Can the forces of the Sexual Revolution be stopped or will they crush all freedom?

Politics is downstream from culture, and nearly every day now there’s another story detailing another victory achieved by trans activists against the biological reality of the 'binary.'
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 12:00 pm EST
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Charlize Theron Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Between her apparently dazzling appearance at the Golden Globes and the Oscar buzz surrounding her film Bombshell, which deals with the culture of sexual harassment at FOX News, Charlize Theron appears to be having something of a moment. That, and her decision to raise her son Jackson as a girl after he declared, at age three, that he was “not a boy” has made her quite a hit with the LGBT movement.

As I noted last year, Theron’s decision isn’t just yet another case of hedonistic Hollywood’s devotion to the sexual fringe. With her very public endorsement of the idea that a child can choose his or her own gender from a very early age and the accompanying chronicle of her adopted child’s life with Theron being played out in the press, Theron—like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—can make far more of an impact in her support of this dangerous new ideology.

In a recent interview with PrideSource, Theron went even further in her support for the LGBTQ movement’s radical agenda. After accepting praise for her lifetime of advocacy and the numerous LGBT characters featured in Bombshell (including a “queer Christian producer”), Theron admitted that she thought it was “a little bit of a bummer” that “I am straight.” That, and even she finds it hard to wrap her head around the whole “raising a transgender child” idea, despite the fact that she is an unqualified supporter of the LGBT movement’s view of gender dysphoria (that it should be affirmed and encouraged).

Theron is passing her attitudes on to her kids, noting that her daughter August announced that she was going to get married five times to three boys and two girls, and Theron “just love[s] that she has the freedom to think that way.” Further, she noted, her son—who she is raising as her daughter—will tell the whole story some other time, and in the meantime, she just wants to be supportive:

My daughter’s story is really her story, and one day, if she chooses, she’ll tell her story. I feel like as her mother, for me, it was important to let the world know that I would appreciate it if they would use the right pronouns for her. 

I think it became harder for us the older she got that people were still writing about her in the wrong pronouns, and also I was still talking about her in the press using the wrong pronoun. It really hurt her feelings. I don’t want to be that mom, and that was really why I said what I said a while back [in the Daily Mail last year.]

Politics is downstream from culture, and nearly every day now there’s another story detailing another victory achieved by trans activists against the biological reality of the “binary,” a term that has become something like a swear word to the LGBT movement. The Chicago-Sun Times reported this week that Illinois was “updating” its birth certificate system to enable “transgender parents” to identify as they choose. A new Colorado law permits people to get a new birth certificate with the gender of their choice without going through any sort of transition whatsoever. And the list goes on.

The 2010s was the decade that the transgender movement came surging onto the scene, accruing massive amounts of power in a very short amount of time. The beginnings of a backlash are starting to manifest, and we will soon find out whether the forces of the Sexual Revolution can be stopped, or whether this revolution will enshrine radical autonomy of every sort into law, crushing inconvenient rights and realities in its path. 

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews Gianna Jessen, a well known abortion survivor and pro-life advocate. Ms. Jessen has been mentioned in speeches by President George W. Bush. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster have said that her story could impact the abortion debate. She says: “I am alive. Just by the miraculous power of Christ.”

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below:


  charlize theron, golden globes, hollywood, transgenderism

Blogs

Obsession with pope’s every word makes bishops shirk their responsibility to teach the Faith

A distorted obsession with papal authority has the unintended side-effect of greatly diminishing the stature of bishops, to the point where they seem incapable of proclaiming the orthodox faith.
Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 10:49 am EST
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Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Since Vatican I defines the pope to have “that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals,” it follows that the authority of popes and ecumenical councils — or of bishops taken all together as witnesses to the Faith and teachers of their flocks — is essentially identical.

Note that infallibility is a negative guarantee: it means freedom from error when defining matters of faith and morals. Therefore, a pope who teaches ex cathedra and a council that makes de fide declarations and anathematizes their contrary errors are alike teaching infallibly — that is, without possibility of error, although neither is guaranteed to have given the best or most complete formulation that could admit of no possible improvement or augmentation. It follows, moreover, that a pope or a council that teaches without signifying such an intention to declare and bind all Christians is teaching with magisterial authority, but without such a guarantee of infallibility. In other words, a pope or council may be in error when not teaching infallibly (this is almost a tautological statement).

Beyond this negative guarantee for the papacy, the worldwide episcopacy enjoys a positive guarantee that the deposit of faith will never perish within it. The Oath against Modernism expresses it thus: “the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles.” In that way, the body of bishops enjoys a positive privilege that the pope, taken in isolation, lacks.

As two scholars explained it to me (from a forthcoming book of theirs): 

This union of the positive and negative guarantees, absent in merely papal teaching, is why Bishop Vincent Gasser said in his Relatio at Vatican I that “the most solemn judgment of the Church in matters of faith and morals is and always will be the judgment of an ecumenical council, in which the Pope passes judgment together with the bishops of the Catholic world who meet and judge together with him.” Conversely, this is why the Council of Florence felt the need to justify the Holy See’s unilateral adoption of the Filioque as arising “from imminent need.” The implication is that the Holy See should not define unilaterally except from imminent need.

To repeat: both papal and conciliar teaching can be in error (that is, are fallible) precisely when they do not officially and expressly engage the highest level of authority that pertains to them, viz., establishing doctrine in a definitive manner, which will be signified by language indicating that it is being taught as pertaining to the Catholic faith and must be held by all under pain of exclusion from the body of Christ.

The papal encyclical as a genre was invented by Benedict XIV in the eighteenth century; no pope addressed the universal church without defining until Gregory XVI in 1832. If this is correct, it could be argued that the routine direction of fallible teaching to the universal Church is an inappropriate use of the papal office, which eclipses the functions of the diocesan bishop.

The hypertrophism of papal authority in the past 150 years has had the unintended side-effect of greatly diminishing the stature of bishops, to the point where they seem incapable of proclaiming the orthodox faith or taking on heretics without the pope leading the way or even providing the script. The ultimate reductio ad absurdum is the striking spectacle of today: some 5,100 Catholic bishops, the vast majority of whom appear to be incapable of breathing a word against a notorious manufacturer of scandals and a multipronged heretic.

Let’s contrast the situation with the ringing statements of the Lateran Synod of A.D. 649, still in the heroic age of the Church Fathers:

If anyone … does not reject and anathematize in his soul and with his lips all those whom the holy, catholic and apostolic Church of God … rejects and anathematizes as most abominable heretics, together with all their impious writings down to the last detail — that is, Sabellius, Arius … and in brief, all the remaining heretics … [i]f anyone therefore … does not does not reject and anathematize all those most impious doctrines of their heresy, and those matters that have been impiously written by anyone in their favor or in explanation of them … let such a person be condemned. (Canon 18; Denzinger-Hünermann 518–522)

Could this passage be written off, Protestant-style, as one more example of how uppity and intolerant the Catholic Church had become after several centuries of public prominence and pastoral pretensions? No, that trick won’t work. It was St. Paul and St. John, whose apostolic credentials no sane Christian calls into question, who first gave us the model of condemning heretics by name and in no uncertain terms. In 2 Timothy and 3 John, we find the following seven names spelled out: Phygelus, Hermogenes, Hymenaeus, Philetus, Demas, Alexander, and Diotrophes. Their names stand in Scripture for no other reason than to provide a model of how such people should be dealt with.

According to the entire history and practice of the Faith, one must confront the man who is a heretic and condemn that man’s doctrines and the man alike. It is not enough to condemn errors without singling out those who originate or promote or defend them. That is the great weakness of all those who will not name Pope Francis as a source of evils, but are content to gesture toward “problems,” “errors,” “confusions,” and “mistakes.” It is not only not uncharitable to name names; it is uncharitable not to name names.

Instead, the Church in our times fosters a culture in which each individual may assert whatever doctrine he supposes sounds good to him, trading his idea with that of someone with whom he disagrees, in an everlasting dialectic until kingdom come. Such a culture is reminiscent of the position of Protestants, who, having only the private authority of their personal interpretations of Scripture, lack a body of teaching based on the Deposit of Faith and an ecclesial hierarchy to which appeal can be made and from which answers can be handed down. Trading doctrines like this, in a great give-and-take of chummy tolerance, is not and never has been Catholic. It might best be termed “Anglican.”

The Catholic way — authoritative proclamation and clear condemnation — is the way of Christ, the apostles, and the Fathers. It was the way of the Church until Vatican II, when John XXIII signified a rupture with past practice in Gaudet Mater Ecclesia: now the medicine of an optimistic mercy would be delivered to men of Pelagian good will. This new method, heavy on sentiment and light on truth, combined with unchecked hyperpapalism and episcopal diminution, results in a dysfunctional ecclesiastical body.


  bishops conferences, catholic, heresy, pope francis, ultramontanism

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EpisodesSpecial Reports Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 4:33 pm EST

Let’s be better men. The Crisis in the Church is connected to a Crisis of Manhood

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

Are you a Catholic man who wants to grow in humility and steel yourself to become a soldier in the war for the soul of the Church raging right now? If you are, Exodus 90 is a new spiritual program you should to look into. James Baxter is a former seminarian who helped bring Exodus 90 to reality. He spoke with me about his inspiring work on this week’s John-Henry Westen Show.


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EpisodesSpecial Reports Tue Jan 7, 2020 - 11:20 am EST

Public school sex-ed is bad enough that you should pull your kids out of school

By Mother Miriam
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Watch Mother Miriam's Live show from 1.7.2020. In today's encore presentation, Mother discusses the terrible sex-ed classes being taught in California schools and urges parents to take their kids out of public schools. 

You can tune in daily at 10 am EST/7 am PST on our Facebook Page.

Subscribe to Mother Miriam Live here.