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News

Bishop nixes Nicene Creed at Epiphany Mass to avoid offending unbelievers

The faithful sat awkwardly when Bishop Derio Olivero of the Diocese of Pinerolo in northern Italy announced that the Creed would be said in silence.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 10:33 pm EST
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Bishop Derio Olivero
Diane Montagna Diane Montagna Follow Diane
By Diane Montagna

ROME, January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A northern Italian bishop refused to openly profess the Nicene Creed on the Solemnity of the Epiphany because he said he didn’t want to offend the Orthodox, Waldensians, and unbelievers who were present in the congregation. 

Bishop Derio Olivero of the Piedmontese diocese of Pinerolo announced at the end of his homily on January 6 that the profession of the Creed would be replaced with a moment of silence so that everyone could quietly recite their own beliefs. 

Addressing Catholic faithful, representatives of other religious traditions, and civic authorities at what was called the “Mass of the Peoples,” Bishop Olivero said, “Since there are also non-believers, everyone will say it in silence. Those who believe can say it and those who do not believe or are of other faiths will say in silence the reasons for their belief.”

The word “Epiphany” means “manifestation.” On the Solemnity of the Epiphany, the Church commemorates the manifestation of Christ to the Magi — that is, to the Gentiles.

Several faithful who were present at the Epiphany Mass, including one who recorded the bishop’s words, told the Italian outlet La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana that his announcement was followed by an awkward silence before the Mass resumed. 

Diocesan representatives sought to justify the bishop’s silencing of the Creed on grounds that it was “for the sake of better internalizing” it.

Bishop Olivero also denied any disparity between his decision and the liturgical norms of the Church, telling La Nuova Bussola through his spokesman: “This, in my opinion, does not constitute any violation of anything.” 

Bishop Olivero, who serves as a member of the Italian Episcopal Conference commission for ecumenism and dialogue, further justified his decision, saying: “I respect the Missal 56 Sundays a year and I always respect the liturgy, but on the occasion of this Mass there were (members of) other confessions in the church and I thought that Catholics could say the Creed in silence and those instead, like the Waldensians and Orthodox, could proclaim something in which to believe. All in silence, but I reaffirm my absolute fidelity to the Missal.”

According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, “The Creed is to be sung or said by the priest together with the people on Sundays and solemnities. It may be said also at particular celebrations of a more solemn character” (n. 68).

The Instruction explains that the purpose of the Profession of Faith, or Creed, “is that the whole gathered people may respond to the word of God proclaimed in the readings taken from Sacred Scripture and explained in the homily and that they may also call to mind and confess the great mysteries of the faith by reciting the rule of faith in a formula approved for liturgical use, before these mysteries are celebrated in the Eucharist.”

In response to the bishop’s comments, La Nuova Bussola observed: “The point is not to respect the liturgy 56 Sundays a year except on Epiphany … but to always respect it, because the Catholic liturgy is not subject to the circumstances of the moment, to fashions, politics and sentiment.”  

The Italian outlet also argued that Bishop Olivero “subjectivized” the faith and effectively made Catholics “renounce” their faith in the name of “ecumenism,” at the very moment they are called publicly to profess it. 

According to the ancient axiom, “Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi,” i.e. the law of prayer is the law of belief is the law of life. Conversely, it would appear, divergence of worship translates into divergence of belief and divergence of lifestyle. 

Bishop Olivero has in fact shown himself to be quite supportive of diverse lifestyles.

In a February 2018 interview about Pope Francis’s summary document on the family, Amoris Laetitia, Bishop Olivero said that while “marriage is indissoluble” it is “not unbreakable.” He added that “for those who have arrived at a new union there can be a path that also comes to be fully integrated” into the sacraments. 

Asked by the interviewer if he might envision these second unions being blessed, Bishop Olivero said: “In the document (guidelines) of the Piedmont Episcopal Conference this is not envisaged, but I believe it could be a good solution. Having made a proper journey, one can foresee a blessing, which means recognizing the validity of the relationship.”  

Amoris Laetitia goes beyond juridical logic,” Bishop Olivero continued. “A couple who in conscience lives the new union in all its aspects can have access to the sacraments after a proper path. This helps us to understand that the sacraments are not a reward for the good ... ”

Olivero, who was appointed a bishop by Pope Francis in July 2017, said that one of the “great novelties” of Amoris Laetitia is that “it is no longer possible to say that all those who find themselves in so-called irregular situations live in mortal sin because there are many questions to analyze.” 

Such irregular situations have to be evaluated “case by case,” he said. 


  amoris laetitia, catholic, derio olivero, diocese of pinerolo, epiphany, general instruction of the roman missal, italy, nicene creed, orthodox, pope francis, solemnity, waldensians

News

Appeal court rules father must refer to teen daughter as ‘him’

The British Columbia court of appeal also ruled Friday that the 13-year-old daughter was old enough to consent to testosterone 'treatment.'
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 9:40 pm EST
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Zolnierek / Shutterstock.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The British Columbia court of appeal ruled Friday that a 13-year-old girl was old enough to consent to testosterone shots despite her father’s objections that his troubled daughter had been influenced by transgender advocates and did not understand the long-term consequences of her decision.

The appeal ruling released January 10 also placed the father under a “conduct order” effective until April that directs him to acknowledge his now 15-year-old daughter as a male, to use male pronouns when referring to her, and to call her by her chosen male name.

Under a publication ban on any information that could identify the names of the parties, the father is referred to as “CD” and the daughter “AB.”

“While of course CD is fully entitled to his opinions and beliefs, he cannot forget that AB, now a mature 15-year-old, with the support of his [sic] mother and his [sic] medical advisors, has chosen a course of action that includes not only hormone treatment, but a legal change of his [sic] name and gender identity,” reads the ruling of B.C .Court of Appeal chief justice Robert Bauman, Justice Harvey Groberman and Justice Barbara Fisher.

The court issued a further conduct order directing CD not to “directly, or indirectly through an agent or third party, publish or share information or documentation relating to AB’s sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical health, medical status or therapies” other than with lawyers and medical personnel involved in the case.

They allowed that CD has the right “to express his opinion in his private communications with family, close friends and close advisors, provided none of these individuals is part of or connected with the media or any public forum, and provided CD obtain assurances from those with whom he shares information or views that they will not share that information with others.”

The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada, one of six intervenors in the case, lauded the court for striking down portions of earlier rulings against CD but blasted the conduct orders as infringing on the father’s freedom of expression and integrity.

The Court “seems to overlook, or at least does not discuss, how significant an infringement of freedom of thought, belief, and expression it remains to order a father to refer to AB as male and to use male pronouns when speaking to AB and to all but a few close family members and friends,” ARPA said in a Friday press release.

“Surely, if CD disagrees with AB that AB is a boy, AB will know this, and it achieves little or nothing good to force CD to use words he believes to be false,” it stated.

“Rather, it is a profound violation of his freedom, damaging to his integrity, and arguably damaging to his relationship with AB as well, even if it is what AB wants to hear.”

That was echoed by the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which also intervened in the appeal.

“The state cannot lawfully compel parents to voice agreement and support for an elective treatment which the parent believes is dangerous, harmful and against the interests of impressionable children[.] … The state cannot compel parents to forget their daughters and remember sons in their stead,” JCCF said in its factum.

Father’s long legal battle to protect daughter

CD, who is separated from his wife and who went to court last year to stop his daughter’s transition, was appealing Superior Court justice Gregory Bowden’s February 2019 ruling that his opposition to his daughter’s transition constituted “family violence.”

He was also appealing Superior Court justice Francesca Marzari’s April protection order that threatened him “with immediate arrest if he tried to persuade AB to abandon testosterone treatment, if he addressed AB by her birth name, or if he referred to AB as a girl or with female pronouns to her or to anyone, publicly or privately,” noted ARPA.

The upside of the appeals court ruling was that the judges struck down Marzari’s ruling and substituted it with conduct orders, which, unlike protection orders, “are not criminally enforced,” ARPA noted.

They also threw out Bowden’s finding that CD’s opposition to his daughter’s transition was “family violence” under the Family Law Act as without legal merit.

But the appeal court upheld Bowden’s ruling that AB could validly consent to medical treatment under Section 17 of B.C.’s Infants Act, which has the “legislative intent” to “recognize the autonomy of mature minors and the expertise and good faith of the health care providers.”

The Infants Act “has made it clear that health care professionals, not judges, are best placed to conduct inquiries into the state of medical science and the capacity of their patients when it comes to questions of minors’ medical decision-making.”

Moreover, in B.C .family law, “parental responsibilities are expressly subject to s. 17 of the Infants Act,” which in turn puts the child’s “best interests” in matters of health care “within the purview, at least initially, of the child’s ‘health care provider’.”

CD has argued that health care providers are promoting transitioning to his daughter, who is notably represented in court by longtime “queer” activist Barbara Findlay.

Psychologist pushed transition on “vulnerable” daughter: father

CD described his daughter as “very vulnerable” in a February 2019 article in The Federalist and said he believed she lacks the “mental capacity and emotional maturity” to make the decision to have testosterone treatments, which have irreversible effects.

According to earlier case documents, AB has been troubled since her parents separated in 2013, suffering depression and attempting suicide at least four times. She also went through a “lesbian stage” in Grade 7, then developed an intense crush on her Grade 8 gym teacher to the point where the school remover her from his class, triggering “a dramatic escalation in self-harm behaviour including suicide attempts.”

When AB claimed to be transgender at age 13, school staff sent her and her mother, without CD’s knowledge, to transgender activist psychologist Dr. IJ, who recommended she begin hormone therapy.

CD has since filed a complaint to the College of Psychologists of British Columbia, alleging that Dr. IJ unethically and unprofessionally led his child to seek a “transition.”

AB then went to see paediatric endocrinologist Dr. GH at the Gender Clinic at B.C. Children’s Hospital in August 2018, who recommended hormone treatment. CD objected but was told by Dr. GH in December 2018 his consent wasn’t required, that his daughter had consented to treatment, and that her mother supported the decision.

CD then went to court, and to the media, and the case received international attention.

Following Bowden’s February ruling, AB began testosterone treatments. In April, AB’s lawyers petitioned the court to compel CD to support his daughter’s transition, as well as to stop him talking publicly about the case, which led to Marzari’s protection order.

Underscoring the significance of the case, AB and her mother, EF, were joined as respondents by the attorney general of British Columbia, the British Columbia Ministry of Education, the Delta School District, the B.C. Children’s Hospital, IJ, and GH.

The intervenors also included the B.C. Children’s Hospital, the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH), West Coast Leaf Association, and Egale Canada Human Right Trust.


  british columbia, courts, divorce, freedom of speech, homosexuality, lgbt tyranny, propaganda, transgenderism

News

Pro-life org contacts every abortion facility in US, finds disturbing trends

A new survey of abortion facilities in the U.S. has revealed a new, disturbing industry-wide trend.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 8:45 pm EST
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Dave Bledsoe / Flickr
Operation Rescue staff
By Operation Rescue staff
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January 10, 2020 (Operation Rescue) — A new survey of abortion facilities in the U.S. has revealed a new, disturbing industry-wide trend that shows that overall in 2019, surgical abortion facilities have expanded into the late-term abortion market, where lucrative multi-day procedures can reap quick profits.

The survey also found the following:

  • There are 710 abortion facilities in the U.S., comprising 464 surgical and 245 medical abortion clinics.
  • The percentage of surgical abortion facilities that self-impose abortion limits at 13 weeks or earlier dropped from 46% in 2018 to 31% in 2019, meaning more are entering the second and even third-trimester abortion markets.
  • The number of abortion facilities willing to do abortions after 20 weeks gestation increased in 2019.
  • The national average cost of a first-trimester abortion rose to a record high of $603 in 2019, the greatest increase in three years. 
  • The national average wait time for abortion appointments remains under a week at 6.8 days, which is more than two weeks less than it takes to arrange a first appointment with a family physician.

“Much of the data gathered during our survey this year either debunks pro-abortion rhetoric or red-flags dangerous trends,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “We see women being exploited by rising prices and a rush to get abortions done. We also see abortion becoming riskier with the new push into dangerous late-term abortions. This information exposes areas where more can be done to save lives.”

Methodology

Each year, Operation Rescue conducts a nationwide survey that involves contact with each abortion business in the U.S. The information gathered about the abortion clinics and their practices represents the most accurate data available.

This most recent data was compiled by Operation Rescue, which conducted a survey of all abortion facilities in the U.S. from November 18 through December 6, 2019.

Operation Rescue defines “abortion clinics” as those businesses that conduct abortions outside a hospital setting. There are two categories of abortion clinics:

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  • Surgical Abortion Clinics: These offices conduct surgical abortions. Almost always, surgical facilities also distribute abortion-inducing drugs.
  • Medical Abortion Clinics: These offices supply abortions through the administration of drugs (pills) or other chemical means. They do not conduct surgical abortions.

Gestational Age Limits

While most states set gestational limits for abortions, each abortion facility has its own self-imposed limit on how far into a pregnancy it is willing to conduct an abortion.

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Because of the nature of chemical abortions, facilities that offer only that option limit abortions to 11 weeks or less.

But the number of surgical abortion facilities willing to push beyond the first trimester is on the rise.

In 2018, 46% of all surgical abortion facilities set an abortion limit of 13 weeks or under. However, in 2019, only 31% of all surgical abortion facilities restricted themselves to the first trimester of pregnancy.

Surgical abortion clinics that set self-imposed abortion limits between 14–19 weeks gestation rose by eight percent in 2019, while clinics that now conduct abortions at 20 weeks or more rose by 3 percent.

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Currently, there are 143 surgical abortion facilities that will conduct abortions at 20 weeks or more.

Over the past ten years, the number of abortion facilities that are willing to openly conduct abortions into the third trimester of pregnancy starting at 28 weeks changed little — until 2019 when the number jumped from six to eight.

Planned Parenthood’s number of facilities that will do abortions at 20 weeks or higher dropped by two clinics in 2019, while independent abortion facilities that will do these dangerous and controversial abortions added a dozen locations.

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This indicates that Planned Parenthood is more interested in expanding into the early-term medical abortion market than into the lucrative but risky late-term abortion market.

In fact, Planned Parenthood dominates in ownership of clinics that only offer abortions through chemical means, operating 211 out of the 246 such clinic now open.

While some of these facilities are very open about having no gestational limits for abortions, others may state limits under the third trimester of pregnancy. However, since these will conduct abortions later for “fetal indications” or other so-called “medical” reasons, this essentially strips away all stated gestational limits.

Those clinics include:

§  Boulder Abortion Clinic in Boulder, Colorado.
Stated limit: As high as needed. Owner: Warren Hern.

§  Capital Women’s Services in Washington, D.C.
Stated limit: 36 weeks. Stake Holder: Steven Chase Brigham.

§  CARE (Formerly AbortionClinics.org) in Bethesda, Maryland.
Stated limit: 35 weeks. Owner: LeRoy Carhart.

§  Pro-Choice Center in Beverly Hills, California.
Stated limit: None. Owner: Josepha Seletz.

§  Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Stated limit: None. Owner: Curtis Boyd.

§  Washington Surgi-Clinic
Stated limit: 28 weeks. Owner: Cesare Santangelo.

§  Women’s Med Center in Dayton, Ohio.
Stated limit: 22 weeks. Owner: Martin Haskell.

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§  DuPont Clinic, Washington, D.C.
Stated limit: None. Operators: Matthew Reaves, Stacey Rubin, & Jessica Kuperstock

First Trimester Abortion Costs

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2016, the most recent year with data available, 91% of all abortions take place in the first trimester of pregnancy, at or below 13 weeks gestation. 

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The national average cost of a first trimester abortion in 2019 was $603.

The cost of a first trimester abortion has steadily risen over the past five years when the national average cost was $577 — $26 less than 2019.

The cost of an abortion varied by type of abortion and by kind of facility. The average cost of a surgical abortion was $620.

Chemical abortions at surgical abortion facilities nationwide averaged $584. However, abortion drugs at a clinic that only offers chemical abortions were higher at an average of $604.

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The fact that abortion drugs obtained at non-surgical abortion facilities are more expensive than the same drugs dispensed by a surgical abortion facility is an interesting one, especially since it is less expensive to operate a pill clinic because it does not have to be equipped to conduct surgeries and needs no surgically trained staff which might require higher salaries. 

Only speculative explanations exist for this price inconsistency.

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The state with the highest cost of a first trimester surgical abortion is Wyoming at $1099, while the state with the highest average price for abortion-inducing drugs is Colorado at $858.

North Carolina came in as the state with the lowest average cost for a first trimester surgical abortion at $408. Nebraska held the distinction of having the least expensive medical abortions. Its three abortion facilities average just $287 for abortion drugs.

Wait times for appointments

It is not unusual to hear news reports about how women must wait weeks to get an abortion appointment due to the passage of pro-life laws. 

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This is just not true.

The national average time a woman must wait for an abortion is 6.8 days — under a week. This time is measured from the day a woman picks up the phone to make an appointment to the day of her actual abortion procedure. It includes a first appointment and state-mandated reflection times of 24–72 hours.

In contrast, one 2017 report notes that nationally it takes an average of 24 days to get an appointment with a family physician, between 12 and 51 days to get an appointment with an obstetrician, and 32.2 days to get an appointment with a dermatologist.

“Because we obtained data from every abortion facility in the U.S., we know that this is the most accurate data out there on actual abortion wait times,” said Newman. “News reports that say women have to wait weeks for abortion appointments are nothing but fake news that is meant to manipulate public opinion against pro-life laws.”

Conclusions

Late-term abortions

Abortion facilities are seeking to replace lost income due to decreased demand for abortion. One way to increase profits is to expand into the second and third trimester abortion market where clinics have been known to charge over $20,000 for the latest of abortions.

“It takes a lot of 600-dollar abortions to earn what they can charge for one third trimester abortion,” said Newman. “When expanding into late-term abortions becomes a quick way to make a lot of money, it becomes a predatory practice. Late-term abortions pose grave dangers to women. As the pregnancy progresses, the risks of life-threatening complications or death go up with it.”

Until a complete ban on all abortions can be accomplished, Operation Rescue supports gestational limits on abortions.

Profit-taking

The increase in abortion costs is reflective of what a woman would pay out of her pocket. However, many clinics operate on a sliding scale or can bill insurance to cover part of the costs. Many abortion businesses also receive subsidies from the federal and state governments, along with reimbursements from private abortion funds. This allows abortion clinics to raise prices and profits, while not driving away customers.

“We are thankful that President Donald Trump has already acted to stop Title X Family Planning grants from going to businesses that conduct or refer for abortions,” said Newman. “But more must be done. We must completely defund abortion businesses of all state and federal tax dollars as well as remove the option for Obamacare plans to pay for abortions.”

Rush to close the deal

While the national average wait time for abortions is under a week, there are still many places, like California, where women can walk into to an abortion facility without an appointment and walk out after having an abortion all on the same day. This is predatory practice that many states have addressed with reflection periods and other regulations to keep abortion businesses from preying on women in crisis when good decision-making is difficult. However, more needs to be done to protect women in all states from these abusive abortion practices that pressure and rush women into abortions.

Reason for hope

In all, the pro-life movement has never been in a better position with President Trump establishing an administration that values and protects life from conception until natural death, and is appointing conservative justices that will uphold pro-life laws that have dominated state legislatures. Reversing the wrongly-decided Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision looks likely should President Trump be re-elected in November. The future looks bright for legislation that will save innocent lives and spare women harm from abortion.

“There is more work to be done to push the ball over the goal-line and make America abortion free,” said Newman. “We want to see abortion clinic numbers drop to zero. We want to see abortions drop to zero. Until that happens, we have much to do, and our survey shows areas where we can focus attention to save even more lives. The Abortion Cartel is desperate and fighting back, but we have been equipped with the information, tools, and conditions we need to finally move on to victory.”

Published with permission from Operation Rescue.


  abortion, late-term abortion, operation rescue, planned parenthood, waiting periods

News

Cdl Burke on new edition of Catechism: Original remains ‘authoritative’

The faithful cardinal emphasized that references to a new Pope Francis magisterium are 'simply preposterous — this is not the magisterium! Priests and the lay faithful must understand this.'
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 7:21 pm EST
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Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin, January 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― An American cardinal has stated that a new edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will not have the same authority as the original promulgated by St. Pope John Paul II.

In a December interview with The Wanderer, published in two parts this week, Cardinal Raymond Burke responded to questions regarding a “soon-to-be-published volume entitled Catechism of the Catholic Church with Theological Commentary.” Of particular interest to the cardinal’s interviewer, Don Fier, was the authority of the new text. 

“This new issue of the Catechism will not have the authority of the text that was approved for promulgation in 1994, which will continue to be the authoritative text,” Burke declared. 

“Whatever commentary (editor) Archbishop (Rino) Fisichella and other contributors offer in the new volume will have the worth of their fidelity to the unchanging doctrine of the Church,” the cardinal continued.  

“This is not some new Catechism of the Catholic Church and should not be viewed as such.”

The cardinal added that he asks people to study the official English-language Catechism promulgated in 1994 and underscored that authority is inextricably linked to the authentic teaching of the Church.

“Once again, I emphasize that whatever authority the new edition has will depend on the correctness of its fidelity to doctrine,” Burke said. 

During the interview, the cardinal also recommended a study of the authoritative Catechism in order to be truly transformed by Christ, not merely experience “good feelings.”

“Right now, typical of a modernist approach, it is all sentimentality, of people wanting to have ‘good feelings’ about how they are living and about the Church,” he told his interviewer. 

“But it is not a question about good feelings; it is a question about truth and love. We need to return to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, study it deeply, and conform our lives to what it teaches,” he continued. 

“In this way, our lives will be truly transformed by Christ Himself because the knowledge of Christ is not something that is abstract.” 

The Cardinal underscored that it is the perennial teaching of the Church, found in the Catechism, not the theological opinions of a pope, that must be Catholics’ “point of reference.”

“The only answer in the situation in which we find ourselves at present is to fall back on the constant teaching of the Church, which is contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in the official magisterial teaching of the Church,” he told his interviewer.  

“That has to be our point of reference. It is available to good priests and faithful members of the laity — and they must have recourse to it.”

Burke gave as his example the Arian Crisis:

“ ... When the Arian heresy was rampant, and the heretical element was seemingly going to prevail because the majority of Catholics had become Arians, it was by the heroic insistence on what the Church had always taught about the two natures and one divine Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ that the truth prevailed,” the cardinal explained. 

He noted that St. Athanasius in particular suffered in this struggle to keep the faith. The saint was exiled and even excommunicated by Pope Liberius for the politically-motivated “sake of peace.”  

“St. Athanasius accepted all the suffering inflicted upon him and remained steadfast in fighting for the truth. That is precisely what needs to happen again today,” Burke declared. “Faithful priests and members of the laity must be prepared.”

He had impatient words for the concept of a “Pope Francis magisterium” that sweeps away perennial doctrine.  

“Recently, I talked to two young priests who conveyed a conversation they had with third young priest who was studying moral theology,” Burke recounted. 

“He said to them: ‘We have Pope Francis’ magisterium that is completely new; we now have to abandon all the old categories and develop a new theology to match this magisterium,’” the cardinal continued.

“This is simply preposterous — this is not the magisterium! Priests and the lay faithful must understand this.”

The revised theological commentary for the new edition of the Catechism will contain novel teachings proposed by Pope Francis, such as the condemnation of capital punishment as “intrinsically evil” and “against the Gospel.” In the online edition, a change to paragraph 2267 has already been made. It now reads: 

 

Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

 

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

 

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that "the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person", and the Catholic Church works with determination for its abolition worldwide. (CCC, 2267)

 

The new concept of “ecological sin” is also expected to be propounded in the new edition. In a speech he gave to the 20th World Congress of the International Association of Penal Law in Rome, Pope Francis said, “We have to introduce ― we are thinking about it ― to the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, the 'ecological sin' against our common home, because a duty is at stake.”

According to the new volume’s editor, Archbishop Fisichella, Pope Francis has written the preface to this new edition himself.

Fisichella is the first president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, a post he received in 2010. This role followed a short stint (between 2008 and 2010) as a controversial president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. During his tenure, Fisichella responded to a notorious abortion case in Brazil by criticizing the bishop who excommunicated the abortionists and everyone else who encouraged the procedure on the unusually young mother. He has served as president of the International Council for Catechesis since 2013. 

In a 2019 interview with America magazine, Fisichella himself emphasized that the Theological Commentary is not itself a work of Magisterium and that each of the 42 commentators “takes personal responsibility for his or her own contribution.” The commentators included such left-wing luminaries as Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, whose commitment to women’s ordination, blessings for same-sex couples, and other innovations are well documented.  

Different dates are often given for the Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by St. Pope John Paul II. He approved the original text in 1992, but there was a delay regarding the English translation, and thus it was not approved until 1994. The official Latin edition was promulgated in 1997.


  arian heresy, catechism of the catholic church, catholic, christoph schönborn, death penalty, ecological sins, magisterium, modernism, pope francis, raymond burke, rino fisichella, the wanderer

News

Vice falsely claims born-alive abortions just a Trump ‘misinformation campaign’

The suggestion that babies are never born alive after a failed abortion attempt is wrong, according to several experts.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 6:55 pm EST
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President Trump delivers his inauguration speech at the U.S. Capitol.
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — As America prepares to vote whether to keep or replace President Donald Trump in less than a year, left-wing media are attempting to delegitimize some of the incumbent’s most potent arguments, such as the current legislative stalemate over anti-infanticide legislation.

This week, Vice “reproductive rights” staff writer Marie Solis claimed that the specter of live-birth abortions is an “unfounded myth” that Trump and his pro-life allies will deploy as their “go-to abortion lie in 2020.”

“In reality, only 1.2 percent of abortions occur at or after the 21-week mark — 66 percent occur in the first eight weeks, and 92 percent occur by week 13,” Solis wrote, citing 2013 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) numbers. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 143 recorded deaths associated with infants who resulted from an attempted abortion between 2003 and 2014, and many states have reported zero live births out of thousands of abortion procedures.”

“Advocates say the bill could make it so that providers who don’t try to resuscitate infants unlikely to survive for more than a few hours could face felony charges,” she continued. “They also worry that those potential legal repercussions would force providers to go against some patients’ wishes that a newborn with a terminal diagnosis receive palliative care rather than undergo futile medical intervention.” The piece does not offer reasons to believe that either possibility is likely.

Several former abortion industry insiders and policy scholars have told Congress that many cases of infanticide are not captured by the official numbers.

“There have been many cases and multiple witnesses who have come forward and admitted that they saw babies either actively or passively killed after they survived an abortion,” retired OB/GYN and former abortionist Dr. Kathi Aultman testified last September. “In Florida, a woman who had laminaria placed in her cervix to dilate it returned for her procedure, but the doctor was late, and she delivered a live baby girl at 23 weeks. A clinic owner with no medical experience snipped the cord and placed the still living baby and the placenta in a biohazard bag. The remains were found by police a week later after several calls from an informer.”

Tessa Longbons, a Charlotte Lozier research associate, also testified that CDC data found 143 infant deaths from 2003 to 2014 that had been coded as induced abortion or spontaneous miscarriage. The data “may be a considerable undercount,” as just seven states (Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Texas) have provided data on at least 160 babies to survive abortions.

Further, the lawmakers pushing to mandate care for abortion survivors are simultaneously pushing legislation to obtain a clearer and more comprehensive understanding of how frequent failed abortions really are, by requiring states to report any occurences of a child being delivered alive after an attempted abortion.

The deficiencies of abortion data have long been recognized as a problem in this and other abortion-related policy debates. The CDC admits that it  collects only abortion data voluntarily submitted by states, whose reporting requirements (if they have any) vary significantly. California, Maryland, and New Hampshire — three populous, relatively abortion-friendly states — submit no data whatsoever, further limiting the public’s and policymakers’ understanding of just how common late-term abortions and abortion complications are.

The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute adds that only 43 states “report gestational age with enough granularity to allow for a count of late-term abortions.”

Regardless of how frequently babies survive abortions, the fact remains that even PolitiFact has acknowleged that the existing federal laws on the subject, the Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act of 1974 and the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, do not contain criminal penalties for withholding medical treatment from newborns, something pro-lifers want to rectify via the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.


  2020 elections, abortion, abortion statistics, born-alive abortion survivors protection act, donald trump, infanticide, marie solis, vice

News

Crime stats debunk claims of ‘trans murder epidemic,’ Tucker Carlson says

Carlson broke down the numbers in his Thursday-night broadcast on Fox News.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 6:49 pm EST
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Tucker Carlson.
Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Contrary to left-wing dogma, gender-confused Americans are actually less likely to be murder victims than the public at large, Fox News host Tucker Carlson argued Thursday.

During his evening broadcast, Carlson discussed claims by Democrat presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, as well as the LGBT lobbying group Human Rights Campaign (HRC), that America is currently experiencing an “epidemic” of anti-trans violence.

“That means it’s time to see the numbers behind these claims, the ones Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren didn’t mention,” Carlson said. “According to the Human Rights Campaign, in 2018 a total of 26 transgendered Americans were murdered. That’s 26 too many, of course. Every murder is a tragedy, very much including these. But does 26 constitute an epidemic?”

“Let’s break it down. A few years ago, the Williams Institute estimated that 1.4 million American adults identify as transgender,” he continued. “If that figure is correct, then in 2018 the murder rate for transgendered people was 1.8 per 100,000.”

“While granting that every murder is too many, relatively speaking, that is a very low rate,” Carlson argued, noting that comparisons to the overall U.S. murder rate of 4.9 per 100,000 means the gender-confused are actually “safer than your typical American.”

HRC’s list of 26 “anti-transgender” murders acknowledges that there were no suspects in at least two of the cases (meaning the motive is unconfirmed) and is vague about the details of several others.

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


  anti-transgender violence, crime, elizabeth warren, fake news, fox news, human rights campaign, murder, pete buttigieg, transphobia, tucker carlson

News

Newly released 60-page report details US bishop’s predatory sexual behavior, reckless spending

Former Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Michael Bransfield squandered millions and groomed seminarians -- and no one said anything about it.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 6:41 pm EST
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Bishop Michael Bransfield
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

WHEELING, West Virginia, January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A recently released report concerning the misconduct of former Wheeling-Charleston Diocese Bishop Michael Bransfield reveals instances of predatory sexual behavior against seminarians and young priests as well as the reckless misuse of diocesan funds to finance his lavish lifestyle. 

Published online Dec. 23 by the The Washington Post, the 60-page “privileged and confidential” investigative report – produced at a reported cost of $500,000 to the beleaguered diocese – pulls back the curtain not only on the out-of-control prelate but on a dysfunctional chancery where senior staff turned their eyes away from Bransfield’s behaviors, enabling him to treat diocesan funds as a personal piggy bank and “to operate the chancery as his personal fiefdom.”  

Chief among the findings reported by the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder, which spearheaded the investigation on behalf of Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, who served as apostolic administrator after the disgraced Bransfield’s 2018 resignation:    

  • Bishop Bransfield subjected multiple seminarians and priests to unwanted sexual overtures, sexual harassment and sexual contact.  Numerous witnesses reported classic “grooming” behaviors by Bishop Bransfield, which included inserting sexual subjects into conversation; bestowing cash and other gifts and favors upon young men in whom he was interested; bringing victims into his confidence and trust by sharing sensitive Church matters with young seminarians and priests; and initiating touching that began as hugs or touches to the face, and if he was not rebuffed, escalated to increasingly sexualized touching. None of these behaviors were either welcomed or encouraged by the victims, which had a profound negative psychological effect on them. 

  • Despite witnessing multiple instances of harassing and abusive behavior over several years, none of the vicars took action to address Bishop Bransfield’s behavior. The vicar general and judicial vicar, in particular, acknowledged that they were aware of Bishop Bransfield’s tendencies and sexual harassment but took no steps to prevent it based on a combination of fear and loyalty toward the bishop.

  • No conclusive evidence was found that Bishop Bransfield committed sexual misconduct with minors. Several troubling incidents, however, were reported that cause concern that the bishop may also have targeted minors, particularly altar servers.

  • Bishop Bransfield’s abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs likely contributed to his harassing and abusive behavior. Although Bishop Bransfield’s sexual harassment and intimidation occurred both during the day and night, multiple instances of abuse were reported when the bishop was heavily intoxicated and/or under the influence of prescription pain medication.

  • Principles of corporate governance were not followed during the period Bishop Bransfield was bishop, which allowed him to spend the diocese’s money as he saw fit without any meaningful review or approval from the diocese’s finance council or the boards of the various entities controlled by the diocese, (all of whom deferred routinely to Bishop Bransfield’s wishes as to how diocese funds would be utilized).

  • During the period of his episcopacy, the operating expenses of the diocese exceeded its income by $187 million, causing the bishop to draw from the diocese’s endowment and mineral rights account to make up the deficit and pay for various projects initiated by the bishop. Bishop Bransfield exhibited a pattern of using diocese funds as if they were his own without regard to need or whether the diocese could afford a particular project.

  • Bishop Bransfield adopted an extravagant and lavish lifestyle that was in stark contrast to the faithful he served and was for his own personal benefit. The bishop traveled frequently, almost exclusively by first class airfare or private jet. He spent large sums on gifts, flowers and alcohol, and authorized the renovation of his personal residences at unreasonably high cost.”

Vicars general served as enablers

In response to the report’s findings, Archbishop Lori removed Vicar General Fred Annie, Judicial Vicar Kevin Quirk, and Vicar for Clergy Anthony Cincinnati from their positions.   

In their testimony to the investigative team, the trio made stunning statements revealing how and why Bransfield was able to last so long as head of the diocese.  

Annie -- who essentially served as second in command, overseeing the diocese’s day-to-day operations – excused his non-intervention concerning the bishop’s predatory sexual behavior, intimating that the young men accosted by Bransfield were adults who could make their own choices, and that they were not entirely innocent victims because “everyone knew (Bishop) Bransfield’s inclinations.” 

Annie also reasoned that if had filed a complaint against Bransfield with the papal nuncio, it would have been a “career-ending” move for him.  

The vicar for priests told the investigators that the several handsome young priest-secretaries who served closely under Bransfield “were broken by the experience,” a phenomena he witnessed, but took no action to address, nor made any outreach to the young men affected by the bishop.

Perhaps more outrageous, investigators said “none of the priests we interviewed who were affected by Bishop Bransfield’s conduct viewed the vicar for clergy as someone they could go to with reports of harassment and abuse by the bishop.”

Bransfield’s obsession with seminarians and young priests extended to male altar servers and boys receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation

The judicial vicar and one other person interviewed “described Bishop Bransfield’s conduct toward altar servers who served in the cathedral in Wheeling as “predatory.” One stated that he observed Bishop Bransfield grooming certain altar servers by increasing his level of familiarity and physical contact with them week by week … and he told the delegate for administrative affairs that he believed parents should be warned against having their children serve as altar servers for the bishop.” 

Not surprisingly, Bishop Bransfield did not want female altar servers assisting him at Mass. He just wanted boys.  

Buried in a footnote: “Multiple witnesses expressed concern about the bishop’s contact with male candidates for confirmation that they observed during confirmation ceremonies he performed. Bishop Bransfiled would not simply lay his hand on a young man’s head but would in some cases stroke the young men’s cheeks in a manner that witnesses described as ‘creepy.’”

Diocesan accounts were Bishop Bransfield’s private piggy bank

The investigative report’s findings regarding Bransfield’s plundering of diocesan assets in order to support his luxurious lifestyle are mind-boggling. 

A fire broke out in the bishop’s residence shortly after Bransfield’s accession in 2005.  Despite the damage being confined to a single upstairs bathroom, Bishop Bransfield had the entire house remodeled, ultimately spending a total of $4,617,000. He then spent more than $722,000 on a second residence in Charleston. Construction work on a third residence – Bransfield’s planned retirement home – was halted after his resignation, but not before more than $697,000 had been spent.  

Expenditures for Bishop Bransfield’s luxurious accommodations total $6,036,699, and the operating expenses for his residences averaged an additional $384,000 per year

Bransfield’s extravagant tastes went far beyond his penchant for sumptuous accommodations. 

  • Fresh flowers: The bishop directed that fresh flowers be delivered to the chancery every day he was in office. During the period from 2014 to 2018, the bishop spent $185,685 on flowers for the chancery ($133,890) and his residence ($47,795).

  • Jewelry: Records show that the bishop made 87 purchases at his favorite jewelry store in Washington, D.C., charging a total of $61,785.

  • Liquor: During his tenure as bishop, Bransfield directed the purchase of more than $145,000 of liquor. 

  • Fine dining: Bransfield “frequented premium Italian and steakhouse restaurants,”  charging more than $140,000 on his credit card for restaurant meals. 

  • Personal chef: Bransfield also employed the services of a personal chef who cooked his meals every day. 

  • First class travel: Bransfield’s personal travel expenses were staggering.

“While it was not always clear when his travel was for diocesan business, it was evident that the vast majority of his travel was of a personal nature, sometimes with a companion whose travel expenses were covered by the DWC. Bishop Bransfield’s routine vacation travel was to Florida, the Caribbean and multiple European locations including London, Paris and Switzerland where he usually stayed in exclusive hotels.”

Bransfield’s travel expenses totaled $2,352,425, including:

  • Chartered private aircraft: $997,000

  • First class commercial airfares: $662,000

  • Rental cars: $75,000

  • Private car services (LimoLink): $68,000  

Suspension from public ministry and restitution 

Before the report had been submitted, Pope Francis had already decided that Bransfield would no longer preside or participate publicly in Masses and other liturgical celebrations as priest or bishop. In addition, he may not again reside in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. 

The new bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Mark Brennan, has already imposed some of the sanctions proposed in the investigative report on his predecessor, ordering Bransfield to pay back nearly $800,000 of the diocesan funds that he had appropriated, cutting off his retirement benefits, and denying Bransfield’s right to be buried in a diocesan cemetery. 

Bishop Brennan also informed Bransfield that he must apologize to the people he sexually harassed and for the “severe emotional and spiritual harm his actions caused.”

The complete investigative report can be read here.


  catholic, diocese of wheeling-charleston, mark brennan, michael bransfield, pope francis, william lori

News

Oregon appeals court again hears case of couple fined $135k for refusing to create gay ‘wedding’ cake

'We welcomed and served everyone in our bakery, but we could not endorse all messages. We lost everything we loved and worked so hard to build,' said Melissa Klein.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 6:37 pm EST
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Melissa Klein First Liberty
First Liberty
By

SALEM, Oregon, January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Today, the Oregon Court of Appeals again heard oral arguments in the case of Aaron and Melissa Klein, former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. Last June, the Supreme Court of the United States vacated an earlier decision by the state court that effectively forced Aaron and Melissa out of business by penalizing them $135,000 for refusing to create a cake for a same-sex “wedding.”

Their attorneys argue the Kleins should not be forced to create a government-approved message in conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs. 

“The government should not be in the business of deciding whose faith is or is not acceptable,” said Keisha Russell, Counsel to First Liberty Institute. “Government officials must remain neutral. When government decides whose faith is or is not acceptable, it discriminates against people of faith.”

C. Boyden Gray, former Ambassador to the European Union, and Adam Gustafson of Boyden Gray & Associates are the lead appellate counsel for the case along with First Liberty. 

Melissa said, “We welcomed and served everyone in our bakery, but we could not endorse all messages. We lost everything we loved and worked so hard to build. Our hope is that maybe someday we can, once again, reopen our bakery and serve everyone without being forced to celebrate events that conflict with our religious beliefs.”

The Supreme Court sent the case back to Oregon courts for further review in light of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The State of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) found that the Kleins had violated Oregon’s public accommodations statute after Aaron and Melissa declined to design and create a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex “marriage.” In court, attorneys for the Kleins argued that BOLI’s Commissioner, Brad Avakian, abandoned the constitutional requirements of neutrality, tolerance, and respect when, even before their case even came before him, he spoke dismissively of the Kleins’ religious objections. 

In addition to the $135,000 penalty for “emotional damages,” BOLI issued a gag order, limiting the Kleins’ ability to talk publicly about their beliefs. After BOLI’s decision, the Kleins were forced to shut down their bakery.

More information about the case can be found at KleinFacts.com.


  aaron and melissa klein, free speech, masterpiece cakeshop v. colorado civil rights commission, oregon, same-sex 'marriage', sweet cakes by melissa

News

Leading cardinal of Belgium reflects on 2019: Brexit bad, atheism fully respectable

Jozef De Kesel, the primate of Belgium, had a number of political opinions to express regarding the past year.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 6:36 pm EST
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Mechelen-Brussels's Archbishop Jozef De Kesel.
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

Analysis

January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Looking back on 2019, Cardinal Jozef De Kesel of Mechelen-Brussels finds that the most important events of that year centered on the environment and immigration, with some treatment of abortion, atheism, and the Amazon Synod included. In a 3,000 word interview with the official Catholic website of French-speaking Belgium, cathobel.be, he described the commitment of young people who “demonstrated for the safeguarding of our planet” as what he will retain “on the positive side.”

Most of his concerns appear to be primarily social. As a former protégé of Cardinal Danneels, former archbishop of Brussels and very close to Pope Francis, De Kesel has clearly chosen to follow in Danneels’s footsteps.

Jozef De Kesel was named primate of Belgium at the end of 2015 by Pope Francis, bringing a whole new orientation to the diocese of Brussels, where his much more traditionally minded predecessor, Mgr. André Léonard, had never received the cardinal’s hat associated with that see. De Kesel was created a cardinal less than one year after having succeeded Léonard.

Since then, he has made a number of statements favorable to Communion for the divorced and “remarried,” in line with Amoris Laetitia, and (according to a homosexualist magazine) to LGBT couples in relationships where “stability and faithfulness take the central place.”

De Kesel was interviewed at the beginning of this month by Vincent Delcorps, of the press service of the Belgian Bishops’ Conference, in order to present his personal retrospective on the year that just ended.

Fighting “for the planet” was the first issue that came to his mind:

Two thousand nineteen was an important year for ecology, especially thanks to these young people who succeeded in mobilizing public opinion. Today we are really aware of the problem, it has become difficult to deny it — even if COP 25 in Madrid was not a great success[.] … This challenge concerns everyone and requires us to work together. For Europe, which is a bit lacking in perspective, this is a great project! But Europe also needs to work with other partners in the world[.]

The young people’s demonstrations were orchestrated around the personality of Greta Thunberg, the Swedish adolescent suffering from Asperger’s syndrome who is being touted as the figurehead of youthful anger against adults’ mismanagement of Mother Earth. It was she who launched the Friday strikes for the climate, where youngsters of school-age lay down pens and leave their classrooms in order to change the world.

Farther along in the interview, Cardinal De Kesel returned to his ecological concerns in commenting on the Amazon Synod, making clear that the Catholic dimension (if any…) of the event needed to be relegated to the background. He said:

In the West, the synod was mainly talked about in connection with the issue of priestly celibacy. But the synod was not primarily convened to discuss this subject, but to deal with an ecological issue that is important for Latin America and the whole world. I would like to add that ecological and social issues are linked: when big companies exploit the land for their own profit, they also exploit the poor! With this synod, therefore, the Church has sent out a strong ecological and social signal. I regret that the press did not report more about it.

Among other things that concerned him in 2019, De Kesel spoke about the present abortion debate in Belgium, where efforts are being made to liberalize the current law.

“I note that there was a desire to pass a new abortion law as soon as possible. Today, even politicians are a little more cautious. I am glad about that, because on such issues, we need a societal debate. In the press, many people, particularly those working in the care sector, have spoken out,” he said.

The cardinal was referring in particular to a statement made in November by more than 700 doctors, midwives, nurses, and psychologists who signed a call to parliamentarians not to prolong the term of legal abortion from 14 to 18 weeks. Some days later, 1,500 doctors and medical personnel stated the opposite. Is it right to have “debates” on the period when killing an unborn child is legal?

De Kesel, speaking to — one supposes — a Catholic journalist in the official media of the French-speaking bishops of Belgium, entered into the debate. He said:

The period within which an abortion can be carried out is not a trivial matter: there is a big difference between twelve and eighteen weeks. At eighteen weeks, the operation is much more burdensome for both the woman and the doctor.

His half-hearted condemnation of abortion as such followed: “Furthermore, it should be remembered that abortion is always a failure and will never be an ordinary medical procedure.” A failure? Or an “abominable crime,” as the Second Vatican Council called it?

Did the bishop have other special memories of 2019?

Yes, he did. “The Brexit. Not as such, but because it reveals a tendency to withdraw into oneself. This is a trend that can be found in several European countries, but also in the United States and Russia.” In the line of bridges, not walls, Cardinal De Kesel stuck to his sociopolitical discourse, regretting that “in the face of the many challenges of our world, fear sets in: fear of the other, of the migrant, of the foreigner.”

This became even clearer when the cardinal spoke of the “hope” society needs — not the hope of Redemption, nor the joy of the truth, but the hope of combating poverty, “the call for greater solidarity.”

In a clear return to the horizontalism of the post–Vatican II years, De Kesel spoke first and foremost of politics and the role of politicians:

I believe that if we want a society where young people can find hope, we must take this into account in the way we govern the country. One example: in the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher said that there was no such thing as society, that there were only individuals. If we follow that logic, it means that everyone must be responsible for themselves. That is the logic of individualism.

This, by the way, is a traditional leftist misquoting of Margaret Thatcher. When the former prime minister of the United Kingdom was pleading against relying on the government for everything, she said: “I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand ‘I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it’… and so they are casting their problems upon society, and who is society? There are individual men and women and there are families, and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then after our neighbour … and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations.”

She went on to insist that “there is no such thing as society,” in the sense that society is not responsible for all that is evil, and that people, especially families, should first have a sense of their own obligations and to care more for their neighbors. Her famous speech was a plea for the strengthening of social institutions such as families, churches, schools, and charitable and other voluntary associations.

De Kesel, on the other hand, clearly pleaded for more government involvement, higher and higher up, as when he suggested that Europe should take up a fight against climate change as an entity and invite the rest of the world to join in.

When asked during the course of the interview how hope can be restored, Cardinal De Kesel once again evaded the specifically Catholic response by saying:

On Sundays, when I comment on the Gospel, I always try to show how our Christian faith commits us to a more just society. We are not going to give hope to young people just by minimizing their problems. We must actively work towards building a more fraternal society. And here again, the role of politicians is important. Politicians must not only act in accordance with public opinion; they must also try to shape public opinion. We need leaders who can say things we don’t necessarily want to hear. Politicians are not serving their own party, but the common good!

De Kesel does not want to see churches looking after only their own affairs. “I am fighting against the privatization of religion,” he assured, adding: “As much as I fully respect atheism I do not find serious this desire to confine religions to the private sphere.” A Catholic cardinal who respects atheism as such — and not the persons who might profess it — is a strange thing, indeed.

Responding to a question about the dearth of priests in Belgium, where over half of the diocesan priests are now over 75 years old, De Kesel recognized that “the Church has already been changing a lot,” in particular regarding the role of the laity and of permanent deacons.

Regarding the role of women, he said: “On this subject we must continue. The Church should become more involved[.] … Women must be given greater responsibilities.”

Should women be ordained priests? the interviewer asked. “That’s another matter,” said De Kesel.

“Is that what you want?” insisted Vincent Delcorps.

“Well, we’ll see. There are theological but also cultural elements: that’s not forget that the church is present on every continent,” said De Kesel. Reading between the lines, it appears that in his opinion, what is holding the Church back from ordaining women is the opposition of certain (more backward?) continents.

 Of the ordination of married men, De Kesel said the following:

That question has matured. Now we have to think about it. Obviously, it is not a question of suppressing the celibacy of priests: we are not going to ask priests to marry! On the other hand, if I meet a married man, a convinced Catholic, theologically well formed, who has already exercised responsibilities, I cannot exclude the possibility that the Lord may call him to the priesthood! I add that the married priest already exists in the Catholic Church. In my seminary there is a twenty-eight year old, married and father of two children. He belongs to the Chaldean community, but he was born in Mechelen, and he will be a priest in our archdiocese. That makes me happy! So things are changing[.]

Finally, De Kesel was questioned about Catholics who do not go to Mass on every Sunday. Having told the interviewer that it is also necessary “to welcome those who come from time to time,” Delcorps asked: “So you don’t have to go to Mass every Sunday to be a Catholic?”

Once again, the answer was a “feel-good” one, confused enough to make everyone feel happy. The cardinal said: “Going to Mass is very important. If a Christian wants to live his faith, he must nourish it. That’s why I can’t say that someone who doesn’t come every Sunday is not Catholic[.] ... I don’t have the right to say that someone is not Catholic. We must be welcoming! When people come to church, they must feel welcome, especially when preparing for a wedding or a funeral. These can be moments of grace. The most important thing is the authenticity of the meeting.”

If a cardinal of the Catholic Church cannot say someone who does not believe the truths taught by her and does not follow her commands is not Catholic, then who can?


  abortion, amazon synod, belgium, catholic, environment, godfried danneels, immigration, jozef de kesel, pope francis

News

Democrats vote against motion calling unborn babies members ‘of the species homo sapiens’

The Democrat-controlled House has consistently opposed the most modest of pro-life measures.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 4:12 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday against adopting language that would have merely added preborn children to existing safety regulations on drinking water.

HR 535, the PFAS Action Act of 2019, would amend the federal Safe Drinking Water Act by adding “unborn child” to its list of subpopulations that would be particularly vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water. It defines “unborn child” as a “member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development who is carried in the womb,” which has already been used in federal law in the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

This morning, the House voted on a motion to recommit HR 535 offered by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). It was shot down by a 187-219 vote.

“Most importantly, it protects the unborn child, something I hope everyone in this room can agree should be one of our greatest priorities: to protect people before they are born, and at every stage of their lives,” she said on the House floor. “I urge my colleagues to support science by supporting my motion to recommit.”

“This motion ensures that unborn babies are taken into consideration when studying the effects of certain toxins on vulnerable populations,” Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser declared. “To vote against it would be to vote against protecting unborn babies, who may be particularly vulnerable to chemical exposure.”

The Democrat-controlled House has consistently opposed the most modest of pro-life measures, most notably legislation to require basic medical treatment for infants born alive after failed abortions.


  cathy mcmorris rodgers, democrats, pfas action act, preborn, safe drinking water act, sanctity of life, unborn babies

News

‘Preposterous’: Cdl Burke criticizes calls for ‘new theology’ to match Pope Francis’ teaching

Burke criticized those who claim 'we now have to abandon all the old categories and develop a new theology to match this magisterium'
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 3:21 pm EST
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Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin
By Martin Barillas

LACROSSE, Wisc. January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke said that the idea that there is a “new” magisterium of Pope Francis that requires a “new theology” that must “abandon all the old categories” to match it is “simply preposterous.”

In an era of confusion in the Church with regard to doctrine and discipline, Cardinal Burke said in a far-ranging interview published in The Wanderer Jan. 8 that Catholics should refer to the teachings that are contained in the official Catechism and the “official magisterial teaching of the Church.” 

“People keep talking about the ‘Pope Francis magisterium.’ Recently, I talked to two young priests who conveyed a conversation they had with third young priest who was studying moral theology. He said to them: ‘We have Pope Francis’ magisterium that is completely new; we now have to abandon all the old categories and develop a new theology to match this magisterium.’ This is simply preposterous — this is not the magisterium! Priests and the lay faithful must understand this,” he said. 

In the face of challenges to Church doctrine, Burke said that faithful priests and laity “must be prepared.” 

“The only answer in the situation in which we find ourselves at present is to fall back on the constant teaching of the Church, which is contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in the official magisterial teaching of the Church. That has to be our point of reference, he said. 

He recalled that Pope Liberius excommunicated St. Athanasius in the 4th century in a political decision for the “sake of peace.” At the time, the Arian heresy denied the divinity of Jesus Christ but was nevertheless accepted by Byzantine rulers and numerous bishops. Burke said that St. Athanasius accepted the suffering inflicted upon him and “remained steadfast in fighting for the truth. That is precisely what needs to happen again today.”

Burke was asked to comment about papal nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who stated at the general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in November that the bishops should “reflect prayerfully” on their communion with Pope Francis and they should make better known his exhortation Amoris Laetitia, while taking “concrete actions” to make “his magisterium better known among our people.”

Regarding Amoris Laetitia, which he and three other cardinals questioned in five “dubia” or questions presented to the Pope in 2016, Burke said that he does not believe the Pope will ever issue an answer. Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller, Joachim Meisner, and Burke publicized their dubia after the Pope did not provide an explanation about his exhortation. The questions required yes-or-no answers in order to dispel what the cardinals said were “uncertainty, confusion, and disorientation among many of the faithful” about Amoris Laetitia.

Among the concerns about Amoris Laetitia was whether it would allow adulterers to receive the Eucharist and whether an intrinsically evil act can be turned into a “‘subjectively’ good” act based on “circumstances or intentions.”

In the interview, Burke reiterated Church teaching, saying that if the Pope were to answer the five dubia, it would mean that “false pastoral interpretations of Amoris Laetitia could not go forward.” He said that adulterers should not present themselves for Holy Communion. Reaffirming Church doctrine, Burke said, “Our Lord’s teachings are clear: Marriage is indissoluble, faithful, and between one man and one woman.”

As for the “pastoral accompaniment” that is mentioned in Pope Francis’s exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Burke said that “while the Church is always accompanying all her members and trying to assist them in leading holy lives,” he asked, “Where is this accompaniment going?”

“When you accompany someone, you accompany them to a destination. The destination that must be sought is fidelity to the word of Christ, including His plan for marriage,” he said. 

Accompanying those in an “irregular matrimonial union,” he said, means helping them to not receive the sacraments “until they are able to rectify their situation, their canonical status.”

Burke disagreed with Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego who told his fellow bishops in November that abortion is not the pre-eminent issue faced by Catholic social teaching. A majority vote by the bishops retained language in a letter that cited the importance of abortion over global warming as concerns. Burke said, “It is absolutely clear that abortion is the pre-eminent social issue. Abortion, from the very first days of the Church, has always been considered to be among the most grievous of sins.” 

Applauding the bishops who voted to retain the language about abortion, he said, “Until we restore respect for human life, none of the teaching on the other social issues has any solid foundation.” He also said that it is an “ominous sign” that 69 bishops voted against naming abortion as a preeminent social issue.

When the interviewer Don Fier asked whether there was any discussion at the meeting about the large numbers of Catholics who have left the Church, or about the great majority who deny the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, Burke said that the two issues should have been at the top of the list for their meeting. Saying that the Church is becoming identified as “one more secular reality” instead of being a “sign of salvation and the light of the nations,” Burke said that there should be a re-dedication to “fundamental truths like the Real Presence.” 

Applauding the example set by Archbishop Fulton Sheen, whose evangelical apostolate reached millions of people via television in the 1950s and 60s, Burke said that “people wanted to hear the truths of our faith that he taught.” Burke said that “we have become too politically correct, too concerned about pleasing people.” He said that people must be told the truth attractively, “but without ever compromising the full integrity of the truth.”

Regarding reception of Holy Communion by those living in manifest sin, Burke said he supported a bishop who stood by a priest of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who denied the Eucharist to a Catholic woman living openly in a lesbian “marriage.” Referring to comments that pro-LGBTQ Fr. James Martin SJ made about the debate, Burke said that it is clear that the Jesuit priest “does not teach the Catholic Faith in these matters and has no particular authority to make statements on this point of Church discipline.” 

Alluding to whether or not Catholic politicians, such as former Vice President Joseph Biden, should be admitted to the Eucharist, Burke said that it is moral law rather than politics that is at stake. “The moral law applies to politicians as much as anyone else,” he said. He added, “How can bishops stay out of the matter, when politicians who profess to be Catholic are giving scandal to the whole nation by voting in favor of abortion?”

When Fier asked what is behind the “revolutionary element in the Church,” Burke identified the sin of pride. “It is a question of pride; it is a question of thinking we know better than the law of God, the Ten Commandments, and the Church’s unchanging magisterial teaching with regard to faith and morals,” he said. It is “pride in its most horrible manifestation,” he said, that seeks to “freely define the meaning of human life, to define marriage, to define human nature itself.”


  catholic, magisterial teaching, magisterium, pope francis, raymond burke

News

Nebraska governor attacked for issuing day of prayer to end abortion

Even though issuing a public statement asking for prayers obviously carries no legal force, the Freedom From Religion Foundation accused the governor of violating 'the freedom of conscience of citizens in your state.'
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 1:28 pm EST
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Gov. Pete Ricketts when 'Choose Life' license plates became available in Nebraska Office of the Governor
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: Support Nebraska Governor attacked for declaring day of prayer to end abortion  Sign the petition here.

LINCOLN, Nebraska, January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts has received some pushback for his recent proclamation declaring January 22 a statewide day of prayer to end abortion, chiefly from a group notorious for opposing intersections of faith and government. 

“I do hereby urge all individuals to pray on their own or with others, according to their faith, for an end to abortion,” reads the proclamation. It calls for prayers on the upcoming anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling. It also encourages Nebraskans to “take direct action to aid mothers, fathers and families in need, especially those expecting a child who cannot provide for themselves.”

The proclamation is in keeping with Nebraska’s strong pro-life record, and comes as pro-lifers across the country hope the U.S. Supreme Court will take its upcoming review of Louisiana’s abortion regulations as an opportunity to reconsider the legitimacy of Roe.

On Thursday, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) declared that the state “has no business — and no power — to tell citizens when or whether to pray, much less what to pray about.”

“Our Founders even rejected a proposal to pray during the constitutional convention, when they adopted our godless Constitution,” FFRF co-presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor claim in a letter lecturing Ricketts. “In issuing this call to prayer, you have abridged the freedom of conscience of citizens in your state.”

Issuing a public statement asking for prayers obviously carries no legal force, however, and proclamations formally recognizing days of prayer and fasting, including with more overtly-Christian language than that used by Ricketts, date back to the earliest days of American history. Presidents George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison all issued such proclamations.

Even Thomas Jefferson, though he expressed reservations about doing so as president, was willing to sign a proclamation for a “day of public and solemn thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God” in his capacity as Governor of Virginia. (FFRF’s letter includes an out-of-context invocation of Jefferson’s famous “wall of separation between Church & State” phrase, which he meant as an expression of protecting religion from government.)

The letter also falsely claims legal abortion is a “constitutionally protected right,” and asserts Nebraska isn’t a pro-life state on the basis of a 2014 Pew survey finding a narrow majority of the residents favor keeping abortion legal. But a 2019 Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey found that Nebraskans who would ban all or most abortions outnumber those who would allow all or most abortions, 48% to 43%.

Lastly, the letter lectures Christians that “your bible says nothing about abortion,” and that Jesus told His followers not to “pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.” 

The first claim is a popular pro-abortion straw man that ignores the Bible’s abundant statements about the sanctity of human life and the evil of shedding innocent blood. The second references Jesus’ warning against displaying piety for the purpose of projecting a self-image, which does not prohibit public prayer for selfless purposes (such as calling for the protection of others). 

Previous FFRF targets have included crosses and nativity scenes at local courthouses, a judge who gave a Bible to a repentant convict, prayer at school board meetings, senators tweeting Bible verses, and elementary school Bible clubs. During a Democrat presidential primary debate in October, CNN aired a FFRF commercial featuring presidential son Ron Reagan Jr. soliciting donations and declaring himself an “unabashed atheist” who is “not afraid of burning in hell.”


  abortion, day of prayer, faith, freedom from religion foundation, nebraska, pete ricketts, roe v. wade, separation of church and state

News

Virginia Democrats seeking to add pro-abortion amendment to state constitution, void pro-life laws

Virginia Democrats, who control the governorship and both chambers of the legislature, want to insert a 'right to personal reproductive autonomy' in the state constitution and also end the state's parental consent and ultrasound laws.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 1:01 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

RICHMOND, Virginia, January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A Virginia Democrat has introduced a resolution to enshrine “the individual right to personal reproductive autonomy” in the commonwealth’s Constitution, as well as a bill to repeal several moderately pro-life laws.

The Democrat-controlled legislature is also pushing forward the so-called Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would enshrine abortion and the elimination of sex distinctions into the U.S. Constitution. Legal experts – and now the U.S. Department of Justice – say votes decades ago to ratify the failed 1972 constitutional amendment have expired, but leftists are attempting to revive it anyway.

Virginia Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw introduced both pro-abortion measures and resurrected the ERA. 

Senate Joint Resolution 2 would add to Virginia’s Constitution:

That an individual's right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the enjoyment of life and liberty and shall not be denied or infringed upon unless justified by a compelling interest of the Commonwealth and achieved by the least restrictive means.

Senate Bill 21, meanwhile, would treat minors as adults for purposes of consenting to “(m)edical or health services related to abortion, birth control, pregnancy or family planning except for the purposes of sexual sterilization.”  

It would strike from the law a requirement that abortionists make a “statement of the probable gestational age of the fetus at the time the abortion is to be performed and that fetal ultrasound imaging ... be performed prior to the abortion to confirm the gestational age.” 

Committing an abortion without doing an ultrasound to determine the age of the child being killed can put the mother (in addition to the child being aborted) at risk. For example, chemical abortions – “the abortion pill” – are only used to kill preborn babies about 10 weeks and younger, so dispensing them to a woman much farther along in pregnancy might lead to serious complications and/or an incomplete abortion. And if an abortionist thought he was surgically aborting a 15-week-old child and discovered mid-abortion the baby was actually 19 or 20 weeks, it’s possible he’d be unable to remove all of the pieces of the dismembered human.

Ultrasounds are standard practice to confirm gestational age anyway, regardless of whether a pregnant woman is undergoing an abortion. They are also used to detect whether a pregnancy is ectopic.

Additionally, SB 21 would remove from state law language mandating that abortion facilities meet the same health and safety standards as hospitals. A lack of health and safety regulations and proper government oversight are what have allowed countless abortionists, in Virginia and other states, to operate filthy facilities that harm women.

Another pro-abortion bill, SB 68, would scrap a law requiring women be given the chance to see their baby’s ultrasound and hear his heartbeat before aborting.

LGBT bill would ‘push radical sexual orientation and gender identity policies’ in schools

Democrats are also moving ahead with SB 868, which would make homosexuality and transgenderism protected classes. 

SB 161 would require the Department of Education to create model policies on transgenderism in public schools. 

“This bill would mandate local school divisions to develop policies on how schools must handle situations that involve students of one biological sex who identify as the opposite sex, including i) the use of bathrooms and locker rooms, ii) the use of pronouns when identifying students, and iii) allowing biological males to participate in all-female sports teams,” warned Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, in an email to supporters. “SB 161 would push radical sexual orientation and gender identity policies onto parents and their children that intrude on their personal convictions.” 

“These proposed policies are like all of the nondiscrimination policies that have been approved by numerous school boards in Virginia which allow boys to use female locker rooms or ... bathrooms, and possibly even share the same hotel room for school sponsored events.”

Cobb recalled the case of Peter Vlaming, a French teacher in West Point, Virginia who was fired for refusing to call a girl a boy.

“Mr. Vlaming made an effort to be respectful of the student by using the student’s newly chosen (traditionally male) name, and to refrain from using any pronouns altogether,” noted Cobb. “All he did was follow his conscience, which would not let him speak objective falsehoods that did not align with biological realities.”

“SB 161 would no doubt lead to more cases like Peter Vlaming's, which will only deter highly qualified people from (pursuing) the teaching profession.”

For the first time in 26 years, in November 2019, Democrats control both chambers of the Virginia legislature and the governorship, despite the party’s top three state officials being implicated in infanticide, blackface, and sexual assault scandals. 

Democrat Governor Ralph Northam, a pediatric neurologist, made his infamous pro-infanticide remarks in January 2019; both Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring then admitted to having worn blackface in college, with the former being pictured in his medical school yearbook either in blackface or a Ku Klux Klan robe; and two women accused Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting them.

RELATED:

Abortion activists announce plans to make Virginia a ‘safe haven’ for abortion after election wins

Virginia bill would allow birth control, vaccines for kids without parental consent

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


  abortion, democrats, peter vlaming, ralph northam, transgenderism, virginia

News

Brazil’s top court overturns ban on Netflix’s ‘gay Jesus’ film, calls it ‘free speech’

The court's president said: 'One cannot suppose that a humorous satire has the ability to weaken the values of the Christian faith'
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 9:01 am EST
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A scene from the blasphemous Primeira Tentação de Cristo, or The First Temptation of Christ streaming on Netflix. Porta dos Fundos / Youtube
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

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

BRASILIA, Brazil, January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― Brazil’s Supreme Court overturned a ban on Netflix’s streaming of a blasphemous film in the country that depicted Jesus as homosexual. The ban was in effect for about one day.  

The president of the Supreme Court, Dias Toffoli, said yesterday that Netflix should be permitted to continue offering comedy film The First Temptation of Christ because “freedom of speech” is fundamental in a democracy.  

The comedy depicts Jesus of Nazareth as a homosexual who brings his boyfriend home to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph for his 30th birthday party. The comedy also depicts God the Father as a cruel and spiteful deity and St. Joseph as cowardly.

According to Article 208 of the Brazilian Penal Code, to “publicly denigrate an act or object of religious worship’ is a crime punishable by up to one year in prison.” But according to the BBC, Toffoli argued that "One cannot suppose that a humorous satire has the ability to weaken the values of the Christian faith, whose existence is traced back more than two thousand years, and which is the belief of the majority of Brazilian citizens." 

The original judicial decision to ban the film in Brazil followed a petition signed by over two million Brazilians stating that the comedic film broke the law and “seriously offended Christians.” 

This reversal was no surprise to Brazilian university student Ricardo German, who told LifeSiteNews yesterday that he expected Wednesday’s ban, handed down by Judge Benedicto Abecair, to be overturned by a higher court.  

“I hate to say it, but I called it: the breaking news [has] just announced that the Chief Justice of our Supreme Court (a Lula da Silva nominee) reversed yesterday’s order and allowed Netflix to keep streaming that special,” he told LifeSiteNews late last night. 

Yesterday morning German alleged that higher courts in Brazil, packed with appointees from previous left-wing governments, decide the outcome of cases through their ideological standpoints, rather than applying the law. 

“They did it with gay ‘marriage” back in 2011, they did it with abortion of fetuses with anencephaly, and they will probably do it again now,” German told LifeSiteNews. 

This morning German told LifeSiteNews that he thinks there will be no further judicial business in the matter. 

“After this monocratic decision from a Supreme Court Justice, the petitioners can only ask the full composition of the Court to hear their case, which they won’t do,” he said. 

“If you add up the ADIs (direct petitions made by the Office of Public Prosecution or registered political parties to declare the unconstitutionality of a law), petitions for Habeas Corpus, Extraordinary Appeals, etc., the Supreme Court receives tens of thousands of cases every year, and they have discretionary power in deciding what cases to hear,” he continued. 

“Given that we are talking about a monocratic decision by a Supreme Court Justice that would hardly be reversed by the full court (I would be very surprised if a single Justice voted against Netflix in this case), they wouldn’t bother prioritizing this case."

LifeSiteNews has its own petition asking readers to stop subscribing to Netflix because of this and other deeply offensive material. 


  blasphemy, brazil, catholic, first temptation of christ, netflix

Opinion

Cdl Burke encourages Catholic faithful to renew their devotion through pilgrimages

These are Cardinal Burke’s reflections at the end of a pilgrimage he led.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 9:19 pm EST
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Cardinal Burke speaks in Virginia on March 24. Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
Patricia Gooding-Williams
By Patricia Gooding-Williams

January 10, 2020 (La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana) — Going on a pilgrimage deepens our faith, and the Holy Land is the mother of all pilgrimages: “Humbly placing your step where the Son of God put his, not only heightens awareness of the events of His life but above all the Mystery of His abiding presence on earth.” These are Cardinal Burke’s reflections at the end of a pilgrimage he led.

“Pilgrimages bring us closer to our faith and thus bring us true peace. Not going on pilgrimages means losing contact with our salvation.” Cardinal Raymond L. Burke shared his thoughts and some personal reflections on the importance of pilgrimages which became a significant part of the Catholic tradition in the 4th century, when Christians traveled to different places that were part of Jesus’ life or the tombs of martyrs and saints. Here are a few extracts from the conversation with him.

Why do many pilgrims define a pilgrimage to the Holy Land as a turning point?

The Holy Land is the mother of all pilgrimages, and pilgrimages are the most ancient form of devotion. Going on a pilgrimage is an experience of spiritual wonder. In the Holy Land, we find the foundation of our faith by visiting the places where the miracles took place and the places where the Lord carried out His public ministry, lived, died, rose from the dead, where the institution of the Sacraments took place. Humbly placing your step where the Son of God put his, not only heightens awareness of the events of His life but above all the Mystery of His abiding presence on earth. Our hearts yearn for that mystery and above all for the peace and certainty which comes from the fatigue of the search for God in the form of a pilgrimage.

What is the special role of a pilgrimage in this search for Christ?

I recall fondly the yearly pilgrimage in which I took part as a boy with my family, every summer in Wisconsin. A priest of my home diocese had created a shrine to Mary and the Passion of Our Lord. Going to the shrine on pilgrimage deepened my faith and increased my wonder at the mysteries of our faith and the sacraments. The sacred places of pilgrimages give us peace and strengthen our trust in God. We are following Jesus’ example, He went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem every year. We need to rediscover this ancient form of devotion that brings us closer to our faith and brings true peace. Not going on pilgrimages means losing contact with our salvation.

Yet tour operators lament that the numbers of pilgrims visiting holy places has dropped.

The fact that fewer people go on pilgrimages is a visible sign of the secularism that has invaded society and the Church. Jesus presented men and women with the truth, their relationship with Him. John the Baptist represents the resistance of truth to power. We need to follow his example. According to a worldly way of thinking, relationships are perceived exclusively in human terms for the purpose of building a just society. If we stop living our faith, it becomes just an idea, it is no longer a relationship with the living Lord. As a result, there is no attraction to go to holy places. Division and schism are signs of the need for the conversion inspired and fostered by pilgrimage.

Being a Christian means being a sign of contradiction as Christ was. Yet, this contradiction is often perceived as contradicting the unity of the Church and causing division. How do we preserve the unity of the Church while being a sign of contradiction?

This perception is the product of secularisation in the Church which is then seen as a political body divided in to camps. Saint Paul lamented the division in the church in Corinth when groups were identifying themselves with different religious leaders at the time, the community did not see itself as one church. You can only deal with division by giving testimony to the truth, by keeping yourself focused on living the truth of our faith and giving witness to it. Doing so, we will be accused of causing division, but we need to accept this suffering for Christ. Saint Paul, in the Letter to the Colossians, expressed his joy in suffering with and for Christ. Defending the faith is not being an enemy of the Church or the Pope. Our faith begins with our relationship with Christ and our obedience to Him. Every member of the Mystical Body of Christ, beginning with the Pope, must be obedient to Christ, the Head of the Body. We are all living members of the Body of Christ. We know that Christ, not our opinion, is the truth. We need to stop employing political ideas of the truth. If the Church is dedicated to building a society of human justice alone, then it has closed its soul to the justice and forgiveness of God.

We could call this moment in the Church a new hour of agony in the garden. How can we be more willing to carry the cross?

There is no human way to accept the cross. It is only through prayer, penance and fasting in the name of Christ. Christ called his disciples to keep watch and pray so as not to fall into temptation. Each person according to his or her vocation and particular gifts is called to walk with and in Christ until His return and His new reign begins. We know from experience in our family and work that sometimes a worldly spirit, not Christ’s, prevails. The church has always faced challenges, but we all have the responsibility to carry the cross to build the kingdom of God.

Still on the subject of Christ’s return, Don Bosco prophesied the future victory of Christ will be obtained by the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Holy Eucharist. Mary and Christ together. Could you comment on this?

The great mystery of the Incarnation essentially involves the Divine Maternity of Mary. St. Paul says she was predestined to participate in the salvation through her maternity. Christ came as a man, but he remained divine, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. God had to prepare the right tabernacle for the conception and birth of His only-begotten Son. Mary conceived without sin was chosen to be the tabernacle. She continues to be the channel by which the grace of Christ reaches our souls. Christ, dying on the Cross, gave us His Mother as our own Mother in the Church.

Published with permission from La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.


  catholic, pilgrimage, raymond burke

Opinion

How priests bungle the miracle of loaves and fishes by calling it ‘sharing’

Ignoring the very purpose of his life, he tells us it’s about filling our bellies.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 8:06 pm EST
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Michael Pakaluk
By Michael Pakaluk

January 10, 2020 (The Catholic Thing) — To call something a miracle is, literally, to say only that it is marvelous, astounding. Think of the Spanish word, mirar, which has the same root. Look, see, and marvel! Many natural events are marvelous: an eclipse, or that a bumblebee can fly. And many human inventions are marvelous too, such as an iPhone, or that a 200-ton jetliner can fly. These are all miracles in a very loose sense of the word.

Human beings in our artistic, intellectual, and moral natures are capable of some fairly marvelous feats. Quantum mechanics is astounding, as is Mozart’s music, as also was the scaling of Point du Hoc by American commandos in the Normandy invasion. We think Oskar Schindler was amazing for saving Jews during the Nazi persecution (and he was). Basically, anything one would want to make a movie about has to be amazing (even Sriracha sauce).

But, again, to call any of these achievements “miracles” would be a very loose way of speaking. Next to a real miracle they look pretty lame.

What is a real miracle? In the strict sense, in a precise sense, a miracle is a change that requires creation or annihilation. Only God can create and annihilate. Therefore, any work that requires creation implies the finger of God. That is why Jesus called his miracles “signs.” They revealed his divine nature. But it wasn’t only that “God was with him.” He didn’t merely pray to God, and God worked a miracle for him. Rather, at his very command the miracle took place. And only God can do that. That is why the faith of the centurion was so impressive (Mt 8:8). He trusted that Jesus by his mere word could heal his servant.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that it’s no part of the correct definition of a miracle that it be marvelous, in the sense of visibly astounding. Every act of consecration at a Mass involves a miracle. That is why we take the centurion’s words as our own before Holy Communion (and it’s good to use a more literal form, as in the most recent translation of the Mass). We are confessing with him that the Lord by his very word, through the agency of the priest, can work a miracle. But it’s not a visible miracle. That it’s not visible is actually part of the miracle.

The sins of the paralytic lowered down through the roof were forgiven. That too was not visible. It was the “more difficult” miracle, the Lord said. But as a concession, to give a sign that this better miracle had taken place, Jesus made him able to walk (Mk 2:1–12).

Perhaps you’ve also noticed also that a true miracle need not be rare. (Although you might say that Catholics make the miracle of forgiveness of sins in the confessional far more rare than it should be.)

The multiplication of the loaves and fishes is debased when clerics, in their homilies, or laity in their wanderings, describe it solely as a sharing, inspired by Jesus. Sharing is not even astounding in the loose sense of the word “miracle.” People in a tough situation come together and pool their resources — not astonishing in the slightest.

The modern sharing interpretation involves a gross misreading of Scripture, in four crucial respects. First, the gospel writers specify that the crowd ate the food that was set before them by Jesus, not some other food, and not their own food. John is very clear about it: the crowd took as much as they wanted precisely from the loaves and fish that Jesus gave them (6:11).

Second, the miracle involved creation because, as if to prove that very point, the morsels left over from the feeding amounted to even more than what was given at the beginning. It is understood that that would have fit into a single basket, and yet the disciples collected twelve baskets of morsels (Mk 6:43). These morsels are explicitly described as those left over (literally, above and beyond what was needed) from what was given to them by Jesus (Jn 6:12), not leftovers from their own food or someone else’s food. It’s very important for the story that superabundance be attributed precisely to Our Lord’s nourishment.

Third, the sharing interpretation fails to explain why the people believed that Jesus had revealed Himself to be another Moses and reacted by wanting to make him king. Despite what partisans of Obama or Bernie might imagine, we don’t want to crown people as kings because they inspire us to share. And Moses didn’t inspire sharing. He called down manna from heaven, which appeared anew every morning as a gratuitous gift. The people knew a true miracle when they saw it.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, the sharing interpretation is completely at odds with Our Lord’s own interpretation of the event. Although the miracle did involve ordinary bread and fish, he chastised the people for interpreting the event as about physical food (Jn 6:26). He insisted he did it as a sign of something else. Of what? Of the true bread, which comes down from heaven, which is such that anyone who eats it never dies (6:50). This was His own flesh and blood, he said (6:53).

Nothing can be clearer for us today than that Jesus, in saying this strange thing, was referring to the Eucharist, which the Church has reflected on for 2,000 years and is offered us in each Mass.

What can one say about the blindness or dullness of a holy priest of Jesus Christ — who is about to work a miracle of turning bread and wine into the flesh and blood of the Lord, to offer to the Lord’s followers, to give them the gift of life — who reads the Gospel passage about the loaves and fishes to his congregation and then neglects completely to discuss the real miracle?

Ignoring the very purpose of his life, he tells us it’s about filling our bellies.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.


Blogs

Dear Michelle Williams, motherhood does mean making sacrifices…but a child is always worth it

Life will always have suffering, sacrifice, and trade-offs.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 2:39 pm EST
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Rachel Luna / Getty Images
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Michelle Williams won her Golden Globe award thanks to having murdered her child, she suggested on Sunday.

Her reasoning was reminiscent of the U.S. Supreme Court’s logic in Planned Parenthood v. Casey: abortion is necessary because it’s become so central to women’s economic success.

Williams’ pro-abortion speech was, predictably, met with fawning praise from the liberal media.

Some people not supportive of baby butchery might respond that women can “have it all” – we can make it to the top of our professional field and fulfill our career aspirations and be mothers without sacrificing anything. Is that really true?

Parenthood requires sacrifice. Pregnancy often brings with it considerable suffering: morning sickness, aches and pains, dizziness, extreme fatigue. After pregnancy comes childbirth, which no one pretends is easy, and then sleepless nights with a newborn who requires constant attention.

Unless a woman has the privilege of being able to hire a night nurse, a nanny, a maid, and a personal trainer, the postpartum period will mean giving up, at the very least, either sleep, time, a clean house, or a sculpted body.

Children – and childcare options, many of which are far from ideal – do have an impact on their moms’ careers. It’s easy to see why abortion would appeal to someone like Michelle Williams, whose career relies at least in part on how she looks. What about women with jobs that require them to travel a lot? Or women who are working grueling hours trying to make partner at a law firm?

Sure, a baby doesn’t necessarily mean a woman can’t succeed professionally. But a baby very often means, especially for the less privileged, that professional “success” must be delayed, given up, or redefined.

Is that such a bad thing? Parenthood changes men and women. Most parents say it’s made them less selfish. Most also say they love their children far more than any job, and that they wouldn’t trade hearing their baby say “Mama” or “Dada” for the first time for a million dollars.

The bottom line is this: killing an innocent human being is always wrong, even if choosing not to means giving up a “dream” job or thin body. Does it really matter whether women can “follow our dreams” without killing our unborn children?

Life will always have suffering, sacrifice, and trade-offs.

Suffering does not make it okay to kill someone. Sacrifice is the fabric of parenthood. And when it comes to trade-offs, sometimes women do have to choose our babies over something else – something far less precious.


  abortion, golden globes, michelle williams

Blogs

News agency controlled by German bishops opens English edition in response to ‘polemical’ English-speaking ‘blogs’

Observers in Germany say the new KNA English edition aims at presenting the German bishops' controversial 'synodal path' in a more positive light.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 1:39 pm EST
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Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike
By Maike Hickson

January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA), the German Catholic news agency whose main shareholder is the Association of the Dioceses of Germany (Verband der Diözesen Deutschlands), just announced the start of an English section of its service, called “KNA international.”

As KNA explains there is “intense interest” in the upcoming German “Synodal Path” that is to start on January 30 with a three-day synodal plenary assembly in Frankfurt. The event aims at discussing matters such as female ordination, celibacy, and homosexuality. Thus, the founding of this new KNA service seemed necessary. 

The Editor-in-Chief of KNA, Ludwig Ring-Eifel, explains: “We want this to fill a gap because until now, coverage of the debates underway in the Catholic Church in Germany by English-language media, blogs and social media has often been polemical and rarely objective.”

This explanation makes it clear to some observers in Germany who spoke to LifeSiteNews that the new KNA English section aims at presenting the reform plans of the Catholic Church in Germany in a more positive light, especially since the international reactions against this controversial synodal path are strong. 

The Synodal Path has already caused a stir in Rome, with Pope Francis writing a letter to the German Catholics reminding them of the importance of unity, as well as some interventions of different Rome dicasteries as to the legality of the synodal process which aims at giving much influence to the German laity. However, since Pope Francis finally gave the free reign to the German bishops after all, the danger is that this synodal path will end up questioning infallible Church teachings such as on homosexuality and female ordination.

Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer, one of its critics, warns that this synodal path will turn into a “path of destruction.”

KNA provides articles to two-thirds of German newspapers and runs a Rome office together with the news agencies of the Swiss and the Austrian bishops' conferences. 

Since Ludwig Ring-Eifel had questioned the objectivity of some of the English-speaking media, LifeSite reached out to him on Twitter, reminding him of the fact – as reported here – that he did not even answer our media requests concerning our attempt at fact-checking an article written by KNA back at the end of 2018. KNA was in 2019 not willing to provide LifeSite with a statement that their report on a controversial talk given by a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Professor Marie-Jo Thiel, had been accurate. Nor were they willing to provide us with the manuscript of her talk, so that we might ourselves do the fact-checking.

Mr. Ring-Eifel responded to LifeSite's Tweet, saying: “If my answer had helped you to find out the truth and if I had had the information that you were looking for I should have answered. I don’t remember if that was the case, but anyway I apologize for not having reacted to your mail.” 

He did not further respond, after we reminded him of the story and of the fact that we had even sent our published report to him. In 2019, LifeSite had contacted him and his collaborators several times, but KNA's publicly affirming the accuracy of their report could have been seen as a public contradiction to Professor Thiel's and the PAV's claim at the time that Thiel's talk had been misrepresented. Thiel had stated in a December 2018 talk in Freiburg that the Church's teaching on sexuality and family should be thoroughly reconsidered. She denied, for example, that there exists an inner connection between sexual intercourse and procreation, thus questioning the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae against artificial contraception.

Since KNA at the time was not willing to help LifeSiteNews to fact-check her claims, we procured a copy of the book which was later published and which contains Thiel's talk from December of 2018. And indeed, this very claim about contraception is contained in her published text. She states: “Each sexual encounter, states Humanae Vitae, has in itself to be ordered toward the procreation of human life. But in nature, there is no inner connection between sexual intercourse and procreation.” She then refers to the statistics, according to which only every fourth sexual intercourse of a healthy couple leads to the conception of new human life. She continues, asking “why should, according to Humanae Vitae 15, sterility and 'therapeutic measures' hindering conception be more permissible than the AIDS prevention in Africa or the inner motives of a couple? Humanae Vitae also 'forgets' to take into account the human experience and the experience in society as one of the four sources of moral knowledge.”

KNA could have been of great help in the middle of 2019 to help LifeSite with some fact-checking. And they also could have actually also helped to defend the Church's teaching on human sexuality by showing that Thiel's words are questioning the Church's binding moral teaching. 

But KNA could still do this – and now even in English – during the upcoming German Synodal Path which aims at questioning exactly the same moral teachings of the Catholic Church. 


  catholic, german bishops, germany, katholische nachrichten-agentur, synodal path

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Cdl Marx: Spreading ‘fear of hell’ undermines Gospel

The German cardinal also said that 'sometimes one has to say: stop the religion!'
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 12:52 pm EST
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Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Feb. 23, 2019 KTOTV / Youtube screen grab
Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike
By Maike Hickson

January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Reinhard Marx – the archbishop of Munich-Freising and the head of the German Bishops' Conference – just made a statement, in which he argued against spreading fear, saying: “wherever someone spreads fear – of hell or whatever else – the Gospel cannot have an effect.”

He added with regard to the topic of religion and its relation to peace that “sometimes one has to say: stop the religion!”

Marx spoke these words during a discussion forum “Augsburger Friedensgespräche” in Augsburg, which is dedicated to the matter of peace. His Protestant counterpart, the head of the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD), Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, also spoke at the event that took place on January 8. 

The German cardinal explained that he believes that, in its essence, all religions are working for peace. 

“But sometimes,” he added, “that essence gets buried.” According to him, religion may not be used against men or for the sake of preservation of power.

Bishop Bedford-Strohm added that, while in former times, the church had blessed weapons, but she is now, instead, known for her work for the protection of the environment. “I prefer the latter,” he added. It belongs to the DNA of the church, the bishop explained, to promote reconciliation.

Cardinal Marx added in his own remarks that “we do not wish to change the society of freedom.” One should not exclude someone, only because he is not going to church every Sunday. “Wherever someone spreads fear – of hell or whatever else – the Gospel cannot have an effect,” he added.

On social media, these words have already caused a stir, with Catholics strongly reacting against them.

The Catholic architect and author Eric Bootsma commented on these words with the tweet: “'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is prudence.' Proverbs 9:10”

One commentator on twitter said: “You can always count on German prelates to churn heretical statements on a regular basis. Cardinal Marx has probably forgotten to open his Bible lately: 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom' Prov 1:7 He proves himself a fool.”

Yet another commentator quoted the words of Our Lord in the Gospel of Matthew (10:28): “‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.’”

Other comments on Twitter reminded us of the fact that Our Lady of Fatima had shown, in 1917 the shepherd children a vision of hell and that one of the prayers given to the seer children is: “O my Jesus, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.” 

The event in Augsburg was titled “Does Peace Need the Churches?” Cardinal Marx and Bishop Bedford-Strohm – who are close allies and friends – had caused a controversy when they removed their crosses while visiting the Jewish Wailing Wall as well as the Muslim Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in October of 2016. Many critics at the time saw that these two major Christian leaders in Germany seemed to lay down the cross in the very city where Jesus Christ had picked up His Cross. For one Jewish commentator, this action showed signs of “submission or self-denial.”

Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne, another German cardinal, had just warned the Catholic Church not to adapt herself to the demands of the world. He said 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.”

The Catholic Church in Germany is just about to start a German “Synodal Path” questioning the Church's teaching on female ordination, homosexuality, and celibacy. There are essentially two bishops left in Germany – Cardinal Woelki and Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer (Regensburg) – who publicly and strongly oppose this controversial synodal path that has even already gained some criticism from Rome. Voderholzer stated in May of 2019 that this synodal path might very well lead to a “path of destruction.” 

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller had stated already in July of 2019 that “if one considers the statements of several bishops, then one can well say that this ‘synodal path’ leads to a catastrophe.”


  catholic, germany, hell, reinhard marx

Blogs

Trans activist who demands women wax his genitals vows to stop Ricky Gervais show in Canada

In response to the news that Ricky Gervais will be coming to Vancouver, Yaniv tweeted: 'No, @rickygervais I’m not allowing this'
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 11:27 am EST
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Jonathan 'Jessica' Yaniv | Ricky Gervais
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

January 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv, Canada’s infamous and delusional transgender activist, is up to his old tricks—namely, suing women for refusing to wax his genitals. Yaniv, who lost his previous case at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, apparently figured that he’d give the court a second chance to decide that he’d been horribly wronged by the largely-immigrant women who did not want to handle male genitals. Transphobia is transphobia, Yaniv has been telling anyone who will listen, and justice must be done.

You’d think that Yaniv would have been duly chastised by the first ruling, which didn’t note his creepiness. The ruling did, however, highlight his “animus towards certain, non-white, immigrants to Canada and, in particular, members of South Asian and Asian communities.” It also highlighted his strategy of targeting “small businesses” where he “manufactured the conditions for a human rights complaint, and then leveraged that complaint to pursue a financial settlement from parties who were unsophisticated and unlikely to mount a proper defence.”

Despite all of that, Yaniv has launched another complaint, this time, according to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, “against a salon run by immigrant women who are of the Sikh faith.” She Point Beauty Studio in Surrey, B.C., rejected Yaniv’s request both because they serve female customers as well as for “religious, cultural, and safety reasons.” Yaniv is up to his old tricks again, but the media is still obediently playing along, calling this creepy man a “she” in all of their coverage of this fiasco.

But Yaniv seems determined to pick even more unwinnable fights. 

During his last round of complaints against women who refused to handle his genitals, Yaniv’s story went viral, making a mockery of the transgender movement’s claims by handily exposing precisely where they lead us. Ricky Gervais, the British comedian who frequently addresses the transgender issue in his stand-up (he attracted much outrage from the LGBT community for his bits on Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner), joined in, responding to one trans activist who insisted that those who didn’t want to service all customers should simply stay out of the waxing business entirely.

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“Exactly,” Gervais sniped back on Twitter, “And if you don’t want to butter my b**** and put them between two slices of bread, don’t work in a sandwich shop.” Gervais has infuriated the transgender community simply because they have failed to cancel him no matter how many accusations they level at him, and his wildly successful Golden Globes gig highlighted the fact that they have been unable to dent his popularity. In fact, Gervais’s willingness to go after all sacred cows—including the thin-skinned transgender dogmatists with their new blasphemy laws—has probably helped his popularity rather than hurt it. Trans activists, for their part, are enraged because Gervais is giving people permission to do the one thing they hate the most: Laugh at them.

Gervais has also trolled Yaniv personally, tweeting a close-up photo of Yaniv’s face with the caption: “I was going to dress up as something weird and creepy for my Halloween party, but I’m bucking the trend this year and I’m going as brave female activist Jessica Yaniv. This also means I don’t have to wax my big old hairy b****.” Although even trans activists find Yaniv embarrassing, Gervais’s jokes implicate their entire worldview, and these tweets expose them to ridicule that is hugely damaging to their movement. 

So now, in response to the news that Ricky Gervais will be coming to Vancouver, Yaniv tweeted out an article announcing the upcoming show with the caption: “No, @rickygervais I’m not allowing this.”

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Yaniv managing to start a fight with Gervais would possibly be a worse-case scenario for the trans movement, and his declaration may just have landed himself a place in Gervais’s show come summer. Gervais has already proven that he doesn’t back down when people come after him, and attempting to cancel him will only invigorate him further and possibly trigger even further exposure of transgender insanity (Dave Chappelle has also taken time to mock many of their movement’s premises, and he too has ignored attempts to censure him for it.) 

Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv is a boon to those fighting transgender insanity because he so beautifully encapsulates what happens when you accept the claims of the trans movement. Yes, he’s kooky, creepy, and crazy, but that doesn’t mean that his assertions (of being a female, and thus in possession of a female penis) aren’t fully supported by the transgender movement. The more Yaniv stays in the public eye, the more he reminds people where we’re headed—and the more he picks fights with people like Ricky Gervais, the more damage he does to the trans movement. 

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 literature professor and pro-life activist Karen Swallow Prior about how literature is going to help end abortion.

You can subscribe here, and listen to the episode below: 


  jessica yaniv, jonathan yaniv, ricky gervais, transgenderism, transgenders

Blogs

Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globe speech should inspire Christians to speak more boldly

Gervais is an atheist. A proud one. But, Christians can learn something important from him.
Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 10:40 am EST
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Ricky Gervais speaks onstage during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images
Stephen Kokx Stephen Kokx Follow Stephen
By Stephen Kokx

January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Everyone’s talking about Ricky Gervais’ performance at the Golden Globe Awards. And for good reason. It’s not every day the self-righteous leftists who run our soul-rotting “entertainment” industry get called out — to their faces — for their hypocrisy.

As satisfying as it was to watch, I’m somewhat surprised that Christians have focused their commentary on the political instead of the theological aspects of Gervais’ remarks.

During his monologue, the 58-year-old British actor repeated how it was his “last time” hosting the event and that he “doesn’t care” if he offends anyone.

"Remember, they're just jokes. We're all gonna die soon and there's no sequel, so remember that,” he said.

Gervais is an atheist. A proud one. He debated Stephen Colbert about the existence of God on The Late Show in 2017. He’s talked about his beliefs on numerous occasions throughout his career.

On Sunday, he made sure his audience was aware of his views. “If you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your god, and f*** off, okay?”

In my many interactions with atheists, they all seem to share the same idea that life isn’t to be wasted and should be experienced to the fullest. “You’ve got to do something meaningful while you’re here because one day you won’t be around anymore,” one recently told me.

Not all atheists live up to this, dare I say, creed. But the point, I suppose, is this: Gervais went into that room knowing he was going to get a lot of people angry. Still, he did it anyway. Why? He gave us one reason. “This is the last time I'm hosting these awards, so I don't care anymore.” Another reason, and this is more of a guess on my part, is because of his atheism. He knows that life is short and that speaking the truth is important. We’re not going to live forever. Might as well push the envelope. Who cares what people think?

How many Christians, I have to wonder, have the same sort of zeal with their own faith and would enter a room full of persons openly hostile to the Gospel but go ahead and preach it anyway, knowing that doing so may cost them their career or result in people ridiculing them? Probably not a lot. 

No doubt Christians are already firm believers in the idea that we need to make the most of the time we’ve been given, but if Gervais’ monologue teaches us anything, it’s that followers of Christ desperately need to speak up, boldly and unashamedly, and not be afraid of offending others, come what may. I mean, if he's willing to so fearlessly spout his crude jokes and erroneous views on God, why aren’t Christians similiarly enthusiastic about defending what they know to be objectively true? Gervais' courage puts theirs to shame.

In the years ahead, Christians need to do a better job at reminding not just non-believers and liberals that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, but even family members and friends who have fallen away, even if it means losing those relationships. Moreover, they can’t put fleeting political and inter-religious alliances, even ones that are decades old, before the truth. Calling on others — including and especially Jews — to recognize Christ as the Messiah is essential in the years to come.

For all the correct observations Gervais made about Hollywood Sunday night, he was wrong about one glaring thing. We are going to die some day but there will be a sequel, one where we’ll either enjoy eternal bliss with God or burn in the fires of hell. And it will last forever. Remember that, Ricky. I’ll be praying that you and your fellow atheists come to realize that.


  christianity, golden globes, ricky gervais

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EpisodesSpecial Reports Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 3:28 pm EST

Get out now! Mother reads about the evils of public school.

By Mother Miriam
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Watch Mother Miriam's Live show from 1.10.2020. Mother continues reading from the book Get Out Now, about the immoral things being taught to kids in public school. Mother urges parents to protect their children and pull them out of public school.

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

Subscribe to Mother Miriam Live here.